Photomath is a free educational app that enables students to learn math in a fun and straightforward way - the user points their mobile camera at a math problem and the app instantly delivers a solution with a step-by-step explanation. From its very beginnings in 2014, it has been among the most popular edu apps in the world, repeatedly at the top of App Store & Google Play Store charts.
A math assistant always at hand
For many kids, practicing math at home is time-consuming and strenuous. Outside of math class, they are pretty much on their own. Their teachers are not around to help, their parents have a hard time remembering school math, and tutors are not always available (or affordable).
With Photomath, anyone who struggles with math can get help at any time. All they have to do is point their phone camera into a math problem, and Photomath will provide an instant solution with step-by-step explanation. Calculation steps are designed to fit every knowledge level. Each step can be broken down into more detailed instructions.
The building blocks of Photomath
The part of the app that does the math is Photomath's proprietary software. It recognizes a particular math problem and provides a solution in less than a second!
But, to be able to solve any problem, Photomath first has to read it. The "eye" of the app is Microblink’s state-of-the-art mobile vision technology. It extracts math expressions in a blink, enabling the user to get an immediate solution without any effort. The user doesn't even have to take a photo - the app scans problems automatically. It also enables editing the captured problem with an easy & intuitive keyboard.
Transforming the math learning experience
Although Photomath was initially made as a showcase of Microblink’s mobile vision technology, the very idea of it was set for success. Everyone was amazed by the concept of solving math problems with help of their phone.
In the following few years, Photomath has been continuously upgraded and modified with a strong focus on the user. It has strived to build a seamless, intuitive, and fun math experience for everyone, no matter their learning style, level of math knowledge, or their native language.
For example, in the beginning, the app offered only a single solution to a problem. Now, the user can choose between several approaches to any problem, depending on which one they need. Moreover, the app has been translated and adapted into more than 25 languages worldwide. And that's not even the best part! Below are the coolest features Photomath has introduced so far.
One of the most significant milestones was handwriting recognition, introduced with Photomath 3.0 release in September 2016. Having processed over a 100k images of handwritten math expressions (around 1.5 million individual characters), Microblink's research team designed a brand new neural network model, which rose to astounding 98% accuracy in only one year!
The next big feature introduced were graphs, which helped users visualize and get a better grasp of the problem. Users can also explore graph details such as the roots, the domain, minimum & maximum, and other.
Animated calculation steps are the latest addition to Photomath's solutions. Showing the calculation steps rather than explaining them is a major step towards a real-life learning experience.
Let’s talk numbers
If the story of Photomath hasn't impressed you so far, wait to see the real magic.
Within the first week from its launch at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe 2014 in London, Photomath reached over a million downloads - and it didn’t stop there. With continuous improvements to the UX over the years, the response on the user side has been nothing short of amazing.
2018 looks most promising so far in terms of breaking records, as app downloads are approaching the astounding 100 million!
To wrap up
Photomath is an excellent example of how utilizing computer vision transforms UX and add immense value. Integration of computer vision can be easily replicated in many other industries and processes to replace manual data entry.
Microblink’s text recognition solutions come in the shape of SDKs (software development kits) designed to solve a variety of real-life problems and optimized for easy integration into any existing app. They’re designed for supreme performance in both mobile and web apps, and they can be customized to be completely invisible to the end user.
Get in touch with us if you’d like to see how mobile vision can transform business processes and delight your users.