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Photomath
Developer(s)Photomath, Inc.
Initial release2014 (2014)
Stable release(s) [±]
Android8.34.0 / 18 December 2023; 2 months ago (2023-12-18)[1]
iOS8.34.1 / 20 December 2023; 2 months ago (2023-12-20)[2]
Written inJava (Android/Windows)
Operating systemiOS
Android
Available inEnglish, Arabic, Hrvatski, Indonesian, Korean, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish
TypeEducation Technology
LicenseFreeware, proprietary
Websitephotomath.com

Photomath is an educational technology mobile app owned by Google. It is a computer algebra system with an augmented optical character recognition system designed to be used with a smartphone's camera to scan and recognize mathematical equations; the app then displays step-by-step explanations onscreen.[3]

The app is based on a text recognition engine developed by Microblink, a company based in London and Croatia and led by founder Damir Sabol, which also includes the same people who are developing both Photomath and Photopay.[4][5] The company Photomath LLC was legally registered in San Mateo, California, and, in 2021, the company announced $23 million in Series B funding led by Menlo Ventures,[6][7] with participation from GSV Ventures, Learn Capital, Cherubic Ventures, and Goodwater Capital.[8]

In May 2022, Google announced it would acquire the company for an undisclosed amount. The deal was then reviewed by the European Commission and approved in March 2023,[9] before being closed in June. The takeover was the largest startup acquisition in the history of Croatia, as Photomath had been the country's most popular app. The deal was cited as part of Google's response to ChatGPT.[10] When Photomath was dissolved as a company, Sabol assumed the position of Director of Software Engineering at Google.[11]

Description

Photomath uses the camera on a user's smartphone or tablet to scan and recognize a math problem.[3] Once the problem is recognized, the app will display solving steps, sometimes in a variety of methods or multiple approaches, to explain the scanned problem step-by-step and teach users the correct process.

In 2016, the app began recognizing handwriting in addition to printed text, enabling students to scan textbooks and hand-written math notes.[12][13]

In 2017, The Tech Edvocate named Photomath among its top 20 teaching and learning apps.[14][15]

Photomath's main features are generally free of charge. Users can pay an additional premium subscription for 'Photomath Plus', which adds functions such as solving mathematical word problems and working textbook solutions.[16][17][18]

As of 2021, the app has over 220 million downloads worldwide,[19] with the official website claiming that it solves 2.2 billion problems per month and that over 1 million teachers use the app.[20][21]

References

  1. ^ "Photomath - Apps on Google Play". play.google.com.
  2. ^ "Photomath". App Store.
  3. ^ a b Wiggers, Kyle (18 February 2021). "AI-powered math tutoring app Photomath raises $23 million". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on 24 June 2021. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  4. ^ "MicroBlink Launches PhotoMath to Solve Math Equations with a Phone". 20 October 2014. Archived from the original on 17 June 2018. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Mobile App Photomath Raises $6 Million in Series A - EdSurge News". 7 November 2018. Archived from the original on 9 July 2021. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  6. ^ "Our Investment in Photomath: Changing the Future of Math Tutoring". Menlo Ventures. 18 February 2021. Archived from the original on 24 June 2021. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  7. ^ "Croatia's Photomath raises $23mn funding". 18 February 2021. Archived from the original on 9 July 2021. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  8. ^ FinSMEs (18 February 2021). "Photomath Raises $23M in Series B Funding". FinSMEs. Retrieved 26 June 2023.
  9. ^ "EU regulators clear Google's maths app deal". Reuters. 28 March 2023. Archived from the original on 28 March 2023. Retrieved 22 September 2023.
  10. ^ Ivezić, Bernard (2 June 2023). "Google potvrdio za Jutarnji list: Dovršili smo najveću startup akviziciju u povijesti Hrvatske" [Google confirmed to Jutarnji list: We completed the largest startup acquisition in the history of Croatia]. Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 2 June 2023. Retrieved 22 September 2023.
  11. ^ Sabol, Damir. "Damir Sabol". LinkedIn. Archived from the original on 22 September 2023. Retrieved 22 September 2023.
  12. ^ "Updated Photomath app can now solve handwritten math problems". 25 September 2016. Archived from the original on 24 June 2021. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  13. ^ "STIGLA NOVA VERZIJA GENIJALNE HRVATSKE APLIKACIJE Photomath od Sada prepoznaje I rukopis korisnika prilikom rješavanja matematičkih problem!". 21 September 2016. Archived from the original on 29 January 2020. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  14. ^ "The Tech Edvocate's List of the 20 Best Teaching and Learning Apps - The Tech Edvocate". 5 January 2017. Archived from the original on 13 December 2020. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  15. ^ "Photomath u 20 najboljih edukativnih aplikacija". 7 January 2017. Archived from the original on 23 March 2019. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  16. ^ "Math learning app Photomath raises $23 million as it reaches 220 million downloads". TechCrunch. 18 February 2021. Archived from the original on 19 February 2023. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  17. ^ "Photomath Plus". photomath.com. Archived from the original on 19 February 2023. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  18. ^ "What a year..." Facebook. Archived from the original on 19 February 2023. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  19. ^ "Photomath - Apps on Google Play". play.google.com. Retrieved 26 June 2023.
  20. ^ "Photomath - Scan. Solve. Learn". photomath.com. Archived from the original on 19 September 2021. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  21. ^ "Photomath for Teachers". photomath.com. Archived from the original on 19 February 2023. Retrieved 24 June 2021.