22 Oct 2014
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MicroBlink Apps Math

Attention all students: solve your maths problem with your camera phone

By Shannon Williams

Students will now be able to solve difficult maths problems using their phone’s camera with PhotoMath, a new app launched at the TechCrunch Disrupt Europe event in London.

MicroBlink, a text recognition technology company, has been developing a powerful engine for mobile phone cameras.

Users can open the PhotoMath app on their phone, point the camera at a textbook, snap a picture and then receive detailed instructions on how to solve the problem.

Children can use it as a tool that can help them to learn maths, while parents can use it to check their children's homework to their children.

PhotoMath currently supports basic arithmetic, fractions, decimal numbers, linear equations and several functions like logarithms. New math is constantly added in new app releases.

Despite the new app being maths-based, MicroBlink is about technology, not education.

“We are not an educational company, we are promoting our machine vision technology with PhotoMath,” says Damir Sabol, MicroBlink co-founder and CEO.

PhotoMath is an example of how MicroBlink’s text recognition engine can be utilised.

MicroBlink released PhotoPay, a service to simplify bill payments. Users could use the app to scan a paper bill or payment slip, and their bank will automatically pay it. MicroBlink licensed PhotoPay to 14 different banks around Europe.

The same technology was used to build PhotoMath. MicroBlink says PhotoMath goes further when it comes to accuracy and speed, and showcases their technology.

The technology works on video frames, and currently does not work with handwritten text.

MicroBlink’s recognition engine works in real time, meaning users will get instant feedback about their scans.

The start-up is now focused on growth and product updates. “We started developing our technology three years ago. Now, our technology is mature enough, so we are going to develop broader usages with it,” Sabol says.

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