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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?