The 80’s had the Casio calculator watch, while kids in the 90’s had those huge TI 86 calculators. Every decade or so it seems kids find themselves in possession of some new technology that helps them work through math’s toughest riddles but kids never had it so easy as they do now. Take a look at PhotoMath, a new app for smartphones that will not only help you solve mathematical problems, but show you exactly how it was all done.
As easy as taking a photo, the app uses your smartphone’s camera to scan math problems directly from a textbook. You don’t even have to press a button, just hover the viewfinder over the problem and watch and the app provides you with an answer right on the screen. Because an answer is only half the problem, clicking on the forward button will take you through the entire step-by-step process on exactly how to solve a problem, making it more than a quick cheating tool, but a learning one at that. PhotoMath also stores the history of solved problems so you can always go back and double check on something.
We’ve seen real time text recognition apps in the past (like the now Google-owned Word Lens), but this takes things into a whole new category. As far as its usefulness goes in the classroom, something tells me teachers wont take too kindly to a student whipping out their phone during a test, so don’t rely only on PhotoMath getting you through the semester. The app is available for both iOS and Windows Phone and coming to Android devices next year.