While smartphone use is usually cracked down on in school, math teachers now have a new problem aside from texting and Facebook. An app can solve math problems with a smartphone camera.
Engadget reports on a new app, PhotoMath, which is a simple but powerful tool that can solve an equation when a user takes a photo of the problem. The app, which is now available for iOS and Windows Phone (an Android release should happen in 2015), not only gives the answer to the problem but shows how to solve it.
The app is meant to speed up the homework process by eliminating the constant flipping back and forth through a textbook to double-check answers. However, there is definite concern that students might use it for every problem and not end up learning anything. Of course, students could also use it to cheat on tests when the teacher isn’t looking.
Yahoo went hands-on with the app, announced at TechCrunch Disrupt in Europe, and found that the app performed more or less as advertised — it couldn’t solve every problem put in front of it, but most were no problem.
MicroBlink, the company behind the app, emphasizes that PhotoMath isn’t meant to be a learning tool so much as a demonstration of its “vision technology.”
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