Thursday, October 23, 2014

To all PhotoMath users, followers, lovers and haters

First of all, we want to thank you all for the tremendous interest you showed for our PhotoMath app.

It's really stunning: the PhotoMath video on Vimeo has very quickly reached 2 million views. Our web page has over 9000 page views each minute, and the iOS app alone was downloaded more than 1.6M times in less than three days, becoming the top free app in most countries around the world.

Reasonably, your expectations are high, and we seriously intend to live up to them.

Having in mind lots of different articles in the media, we feel compelled to explain some things regarding PhotoMath and our goals in more details.

PhotoMath is an app which uses a mobile phone camera to recognize mathematical expressions. It instantly solves a recognized expression, and displays step-by-step solution.

At this stage it can solve basic arithmetics, 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.

Most about PhotoMath focus on it's use as a cheating tool. Let's be honest: many kids cheat anyway, and an app which solves math problems automatically won't make this problem worse. However, PhotoMath can be really helpful to many children when they are stuck with their homework and there is no one around to help them to figure it out. If we can eliminate kids' frustration at the point when they can't do anything else but helplessly stare at the book, we'll feel awesome. It's as simple as that.

In fact, we're sure that the same questions were raised when calculators entered classrooms. With PhotoMath, our goal is to make a much more useful calculator.

PhotoMath uses MicroBlink's proprietary mobile machine vision technology to automatically recognize text of a math problem. This is one of our innovations: we do very accurate and fast text recognition on a mobile device, without using an internet connection. Ironically, to do very simple math calculations using PhotoMath, we had to implement highly complex math in our image processing and text recognition algorithms.

Another innovation is our step-by-step system of solving math problems. It enables us to upgrade our app for more complex math tasks in a manageable way. What this means to you is that this system will enable us to make the updates needed for solving more complex math problems in the near future.

PhotoMath is free, because our business is licensing our tech to other software developers and companies to solve a range of different problems. This includes, among others, text and barcode scanning, ID card or payment slip scanning, email address, URL, bank account number scanning. If you are a software developer and think we can help to improve your business in some way, we will gladly respond to your proposals.

We are a small company with employees who love their work and live it passionately. Our goal is to project this passion in the software which we make. That's why we invite you all to try PhotoMath for iOS and Windows Phone, and send us your feedback. You can help us to make an already awesome app even better.

MicroBlink Team.