WATCH: Photo Math, a smartphone camera calculator




Veins are bulging in the heads of math teachers around the world.





Add this function for augmented reality glasses (or at least allow showing just the overlay with no background, for DIY mods), support more advanced symbolic operations (link to Wolfram-Alpha?). Add automatic unit (and exchange rate and so) conversions. Support recognition of handwriting. Support user-writable plugins, support QR-codes and user-defined symbol overlays (e.g. write a “sigil” on paper, get an assigned value (incoming emails, live tweets/news, stock ticker/graph, weather forecast…), warehouse database link for showing the content of a box, multimeter output hovering above the tip of the probe (so you won’t have to look away from the probe, which is when it slips)… Billions of uses.


I want to live in this future.


We should write a proposal for the CastAR dev team. The future is near, very near.

Edit: Another silly thought: such “sigil” written with a pen (or maybe even tattooed) on one’s wrist. Voila, smartwatch!

Yet another idea. Leverage the sensitivity of silicon in the near-IR range, use infrared ink. Invisible sigils!



I don’t see this tool having much use outside of a math class. And in a math class it sort of defeats the learning process.


I’ve already had students, at the college level, who didn’t know how to multiply by zero without a calculator. So I’m not sure that this could possibly make things worse.

BTW, I note that it doesn’t solve quadratics; just linear equations.


This was already done: Big Bang Theory


Damn. Was wondering about elliptic integrals.




Incidentally - I downloaded and tried it, and at the very least it doesn’t seem to be able to scan equations off a computer monitor. I’m too lazy to walk over to the printer to see how it handles equations printed on paper.


Math classes often defeat the learning process all by themselves.


It actually shows the steps to solving the equation, as well. So presumably this is meant to be a learning tool.


Yes, it looks like you will still have to compute ℘ yourself. Doesn’t compute Donaldson invariants either, what a piece of junk! :slight_smile:


Or linear equations, apparently:

courtesy of


Walk around the city, symbols painted around town trigger virtual ads all over the place.

Yes, so many uses.


Adblock. Every platform needs it.

…and with AR it can even provide billboard overlays.


This is primarily a computer vision problem. As long as you can transcribe the math, it would be fairly easy to call Wolfram Alpha to actually solve the equation. In addition, Wolfram Alpha, being built on Mathematica, can solve equations much more complex than simple linear combinations of x.