Using QR codes to send information to a smartphone via its camera is common enough, but Casio has come up with a communication system that's quite a bit more light-hearted. Based around an iOS app called "PicapiCamera," Casio is experimenting with using blinking colors to transmit unique information. The sender chooses a message, which may be an image with a bit of text, which is then sent to Casio's servers in the cloud. The unique identifier for that message is then translated into a dot with cycles through a series of colors.

On the receiving end, the user points his or her smartphone camera at the dot. The same app is then able to recognize the unique identifier from the blinking colors and download the unique message. Casio says that there is some location information involved, but otherwise the message is sent (and received) completely anonymously. Casio says that it could theoretically be used in the same contexts that we've seen QR codes — advertisements and contact sharing, for example. We'd call it a clever solution, but to be honest we're more partial to the invisible flashes that the MIT Media Lab is working on. Take a look at the video demo of the app from IDG to see if you don't disagree.