Casio releases app that can encode and send data using colors

The company's experimental "PicapiCamera" app uses visual light communication technology to share data between devices

Japan's Casio has released an experimental app for the iPhone and iPad that encodes and sends data using colors.

The company's "PicapiCamera" app presents a set of icons to the user, which can be selected along with a short message to be sent. Once these are chosen, the app displays a multihued blinking dot on screen -- an encoding of the data using visible colors.

A separate device can then scan in multiple dots through its camera using the same app. In the picture taken by the camera, the blinking dots are replaced by the icons and messages, and this picture can then be sent back to everyone that displayed a dot. The information is exchanged using only the data sent by the flashing colors.

"We are sending a basic ID code using visible light transmission. The camera then captures this and the code captured by the camera is combined with location information. This is sent to a server in the cloud, which then sends the picture information," said Nobuo Iizuka, a research manager at Casio.

Casio, which previously showed the technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year, has released the app mainly as a way to get feedback from users, Iizuka said. The technology is based on the company's research into the developing field of "Li-Fi," or sending information using visible light. With specialized equipment, this can achieve data transfers at hundreds of megabits per second, but Casio wants to use the technology for existing consumer devices.

Devices and apps that allow users to tweak digital pictures and add glyphs and messages once they've been taken are now common. Casio, known for its digital cameras and mobile phones, wants to experiment with technologies that allow users to digitally alter their appearance -- in this case choosing personalized icons -- before the shutter button is pressed.

Casio is also considering using the color-encoding method as a way to exchange personal contact information between devices, without the need to first trade an email or phone number, similar to existing iPhone apps like Bump.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?