|It's really stunning: the PhotoMath video on Vimeo has very quickly reached 2 million views. Their 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 in the Automn 2014, becoming the top free app in most countries around the world. It has been created by Jurica Cerovec and his colleagues at MicroBLINK in Croatia. Their products have recently been shown with great success in London, and they have created enormous interest throughout the world. They open completely new perspectives in education and other areas.|
Summary. It's really stunning: the PhotoMath video on Vimeo has very quickly reached 2 million views. Their 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 in the Automn 2014, becoming the top free app in most countries around the world. It has been created by Jurica Cerovec and his colleagues in Croatia. Their products have recently been shown with great success in London, and they have created enormous interest throughout the world. They open completely new perspectives in education and other areas.
PhotoMath A Math Tutor in Your Pocket
Microblink is a software development company that develops computer vision technology for mobile devices.
Our customers, in over 30 different countries across the globe, include banks & financial institutions, telecoms, retailers, system integrators, startups and other service and production oriented companies.
In 2012 a pilot project was created with the aim to eliminate the need for manual data entry for bill payments. The project grew to a PhotoPay Ltd. which was founded in 2013. After implementation of PhotoPay technology in several major EU banks, it evolved into a much wider scope and in 2014 MicroBLINK Ltd. was founded in London as a mobile vision software company.
We make mobile devices smarter and easier to use in different business processes using mobile machine vision technology. From real time recognition of bills, payment slips to barcode and ID scanning technology and reading mathematical expressions – microblink technology is an enabler of better business processes - that save time and improve customer experience.
Damir Sabol and Jurica Cerovec are cofounders of MicroBLINK, and developers of machine-vision technology for mobile devices, jointly with their colleagues:
PhotoMath can solve any equation in a textbook just by looking at it with your phone's camera, and will show you how it got to the solution.
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.
PhotoPay - Croatian payment slip demo
MicroBlink Launches PhotoMath To Solve Math Equations With A Phone
Imagine you are a 14-year-old kid again. You need to do this really difficult math exercise for tomorrow, but have no idea how to do it. What if you could just open an app on your phone, point your camera at your textbook, snap a picture and get the detailed instructions to solve your equation. This is exactly what PhotoMath does. The team is launching this app today at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe in London.
MicroBlink is a text recognition technology company that has been developing a powerful engine for mobile phone cameras for the past two years. The startup is in the business of selling its core technology to companies who might find it useful.
“We are not an educational company, we are promoting our machine vision technology with PhotoMath,” co-founder and CEO Damir Sabol told me in a phone interview before Disrupt.
And this is key to understanding what MicroBlink is all about. PhotoMath is a neat little app, but it’s just one potential use case of MicroBlink’s text recognition engine.
Before PhotoMath, the company worked on PhotoPay, a service to simplify bill payments. Whenever you receive a paper bill, you can scan it and your bank will automatically pay it for you. MicroBlink licensed PhotoPay to 14 different banks around Europe.
So how is this text recognition engine better? First, it works in real-time, meaning that you will get instant feedback on what you are scanning. Second, the company worked a lot on accuracy. While it doesn’t work with handwritten text, MicroBlink believes that the company’s accuracy is simply amazing. Finally, the startup provides ready-to-use SDKs for particular use cases, such as bill payments or equation solving.
“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 said.
The company is based in London and Croatia and hasn’t raised any money so far. But now that MicroBlink’s technology is mature, the startup is now focused on growth and product updates. But I’m sure it will easily find a ton of hopeless students to try out its new PhotoMath app.
Judges: Alice Bentinck (Entrepreneur First), Simon Cook (DFJ Esprit), Aliott Cole (Octopus Ventures), Christophe Maire (Atlantic Labs)
Question: This is very neat. It seems like a plot to get a six-year old to finally get a smartphone. The question that I have is whether that’s the basis for a standalone business.
Answer: We started in the banking sector, we have 14 banks using our technology. We have developed this technology over the past three years, and we are already making money now in the enterprise space.
Q: What is your fundamental breakthrough?
A: We created algorithms specifically for mobile devices. We have a product that is called PhotoPay. You scan payment slips. This is the technology that we used to build PhotoMath. PhotoMath goes further when it comes to accuracy and speed. It also showcases our technology.
Q: Does the technology work on static images?
A: We use video frames. We combine the OCR results of these consecutive video frames.
Q: Does it work with handwritten text?
A: Not yet. It works but it’s quite a difficult problem.
Q: In PhotoMath, does it show the steps to solve an equation?
A: Yes, it’s already there.
Q: Are you charging for the technology?
A: We provide a free SDK, and depending of the monetization strategy of our partners, it’s a revenue share or a license per year.
PhotoMath, Mireo, etc. (extensive reports, in Croatian)
Formated for CROWN by Darko Žubrinić
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