Casio Computer Co., Ltd. (??????????, Kashio Keisanki Kabushiki-gaisha?) (TYO: 6952 ) is a Japanese electronic devices manufacturing company founded in 1946, with its headquarters in Tokyo. Casio is best known for their calculators, audio equipment, PDAs, cameras, musical instruments, and watches. In 1957 Casio released the world's first entirely electronic compact calculator.
In 1979, Casio announced that it would enter the electronic musical instruments business, further expanding beyond calculators and timepieces. In January 1980, the company released the Casiotone electronic keyboard, which was designed to be so easy and fun to play that anyone could learn it without any special training or rigorous practice. The objective of the Casiotone was not to create a keyboard with the typical electronic sound, but rather with tones that reproduced the sounds of the piano, organ, and guitar. The economic growth at that time in Japan had created a cultural mood characterized by a shift away from material toward spiritual pursuits, and the Casiotone was instantly accepted by the market as a fun new way to enjoy music.
In March 1986, Casio released the Sampletone (SK-1), a radical new electronic musical instrument with a built in sampling function. Until this time, the type of tone that could be produced by both acoustic and electronic instruments was limited. However, by equipping an electronic keyboard with a sampling feature that could record any kind of sound from the environment, and then use it as a sound source for playing music, musical expression suddenly took on limitless possibilities. This invention opened a new chapter in the history of musical instruments. The SK-1 became a major hit product, selling over one million units, a rare achievement for a musical instrument.