The following is an interview with Tijana Zganec, sales and marketing associate for MicroBLINK, producer of a new smartphone app called “PhotoMath” that is able to take a picture of a math problem and immediately solve it for you on the screen. You can watch a video that demonstrates PhotoMath here.
What exactly is PhotoMath?
PhotoMath is an app which uses the mobile phone camera to recognize and solve the mathematical expression. It is combination of computer vision software that we have developed and ‘intelligent’ expert software system that is solving math expressions in a way that human would solve them.
What platforms support it?
The app is currently available for iOS and Windows Phone platforms. The app for Android platform will be released in early 2015.
What is its intended use, and what can it handle?
The app itself is intended for kids up to 14 years old (at this point) to help them learn math. At this stage it can solve basic arithmetic, fractions, decimals, powers, roots, linear equations and functions like log, exp, sin, cos. It can recognize printed characters only, not handwritten text. The app doesn’t solve word problems, geometry, or calculus. We are working on supporting this complex math in future app updates.
What other releases do you have planned?
Besides that, we plan to release our PhotoMath SDK (Software Development Kit) that we’ll license for other developer and educational companies that can then include that technology into their own apps. (As we are not an educational company, but a computer vision/mobile vision company that wanted to showcase our technology through PhotoMath.)
We have been developing real-time text recognition technology for mobile devices for the past 3 years and we were very successful in that field. Our technology for real-time recognition of bills is part of mobile banking apps in 14 different European banks and it enables simple bill payment without manual entry of payment data. So PhotoMath was a showcase of what our optical recognition technology was capable of and that there are numerous ways to expand it and apply it in different industries.
We already have great success with our technology: PhotoPay (mentioned above), BlinkID (ID, passport and driver licenses scanning SDK), Blink Barcode (barcode scanning SDK).