A math learning app that helps students and parents master problem solving

App of the Week

With over 220 million downloads and millions of problems solved per month, Photomath is the world’s most-used math learning app on a mission to transform learning and help every student succeed. Harnessing the power of AI, the app instantly scans math problems ranging from arithmetic to calculus and uses step-by-step explanations to help students learn, understand, and retain critical solving methods. The easy to use, intuitive app is suited for students of all ages, as well as parents and teachers, to help make learning math as accessible as possible.

The app offers a wealth of free solutions, along with the option to purchase Photomath Plus, which gives students access to teacher-approved problem explanations for hundreds of math textbooks, exclusive math tips and definitions, dynamic visual aids and word problem support for just $9.99 per month or $59.99 for the year.

 

Formats/platforms:

Photomath is available on iOS, Android and Windows.

 

Primary URL:

https://photomath.com/ 

 

Problem solved:

Math deficiency is pervasive in both education and workforce preparedness - and with the US having ranked 37th in terms of math proficiency according to OECD, it’s a clear and growing large-scale issue.

Photomath serves students, parents and teachers to make learning (and teaching your child) math easier. Photomath’s custom Animated Tutorials can supplement traditional teaching methods for solving math concepts and lead to better retention by students -- for a fraction of the cost of a traditional tutor. What’s more, Photomath helps to build confidence with reticent students, reducing their fear of embarrassment of having to ask questions in a virtual or live classroom setting.

Since the start of the pandemic, Photomath has seen a 185% increase in subscribers. The app has been an essential asset to those learning remotely and in need of extra support.

 

Grade/age ranges:

Photomath is suitable for ages 5 and up -- through most college-level math. It is typically most relevant for high school students through college who are encountering more advanced math such as algebra.

 

Core or supplemental?

Photomath is complementary to in-school and virtual teacher instruction and is used by millions of teachers as a tool to enhance the learning experience in the classroom and for homework. Additionally, Photomath’s proprietary Animated Tutorials with voiceover feature, which uses AI audio voiceover paired with video for explanations of problems make math easier to grasp and understand, serves not only the visual learners who can watch the walkthrough, but auditory learners – about 30% of the population – who may learn better when hearing the explanation paired with the visual.       

Photomath has hired real teachers and PhDs to help develop the clearest, most accurate ways to solve a problem and address core curriculums around the country.

 

Subject/topic:

Photomath can explain math from basic arithmetic to advanced calculus and geometry. The app is particularly adept at supporting algebra and pre-calculus.

 

Lesson time needed:

Time dedicated to using Photomath is unique to each student and their individual needs when it comes to homework and learning. The problem solving is instantaneous, so users can get step-by-step guidance on their problems almost immediately, so the time commitment is truly up to the user.

 

Pricing model:

The basic Photomath app is free for download and offers solutions and step-by-step explanations to equations. Users can also purchase the upgraded Photomath Plus, which gives access to teacher-approved animated tutorials, exclusive math tips and definitions, custom visual aids and word problem solutions for just $9.99 per month or $59.99 for the year.

 

Additional services needed:

Photomath is run directly through a mobile app which can be downloaded on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app is free to download and can be accessed via WiFi or carrier networks on most smartphones. The app’s unique and easy-to-use interface makes it accessible for all ages to navigate, whether a teacher, student, parent or grandparent!

 

What makes Photomath unique?

It’s known that 30% of the population are auditory learners. Most educational tools target visually stimulating content. Photomath takes it a step further. This summer, Photomath launched a new feature called Animated Tutorials with Voiceover. The app’s built-in automated tutorials that mimic how a teacher would explain in a classroom now include AI-voiceover. This addition makes it easier to grasp and understand difficult concepts, especially for those who learn better auditorily.

Additionally, as a company, Photomath has three core values, and they are: provide a simple and intuitive user experience, be software-driven, and offer quality content.

For many people, math is a difficult subject that can cause a lot of anxiety. Photomath seeks to alleviate any stressful feelings which is why it prioritizes providing a simple and intuitive user experience. The app was created to make people feel comfortable when they need help understanding a math problem or if they want to check their work. Photomath’s job is to remove obstacles and complexity so that the user experience remains focused on math learning.

Photomath’s second core value is being software-driven. Photomath is an education and technology company. From day one, the company has built its own proprietary AI technology to do things like recognize math problems or scalably produce step-by-step explanations to problems instantaneously. Being software-driven allows the app to do more with less. Without technology, Photomath wouldn’t be able to reach over 220-million users, teach math in 32 different languages at any given time and explain more than millions of problems per month. 

Lastly, the company ensures students get the best learning experience. That means students have to get accurate but easy to understand information. Although each step-by-step explanation is generated algorithmically, Photomath has a dedicated math R&D team whose sole job it is to stay up to date with the latest teaching methodologies across the world. They work with engineers to teach the AI technology how to produce accurate and appropriate step-by-step explanations in the core solver product.

Photomath prides itself on these values and keeps them top-of-mind every single day. Photomath’s growth year over year, being consistently ranked as a top app in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and the positive feedback received from users is a result of the focus on the company’s core values.

 

Characteristics:

Photomath was created out of a frustrating personal experience. Damir Sabol, founder and CEO of Photomath, is a father of three children and with his engineering background, he often helped his kids with their math homework. Figuring out the best way to explain math in a way that they really understand can be quite difficult. Also, the way Damir learned math decades ago isn’t necessarily the same way that it is taught today.

Before Photomath, Damir founded another company that develops technology that uses a mobile phone camera to recognize text. He figured there was a way to combine that text recognition technology with some mathematical algorithms and that’s how the first version of Photomath was developed.

All Photomath technology is proprietary, providing full control and giving us the ability to provide exceptional user experience. The core functionality of Photomath (machine learning inference, formula extraction and core math solver) is built in C++ and is run locally on the device meaning Photomath can solve problems without an internet connection. Photomath has also started implementing cloud processing for some premium features and content which do require an internet connection.

Photomath’s core math solver uses an advanced human-designed rule system (expert system) and even has its own DSL (domain specific language) that is used to program math solving procedures. There is no database behind it but it can solve problems generically, similarly to how a human would solve the problem. Not only can the core solver calculate a result but it can also produce the step-by-step explanations that match the result.

How math problems are recognized in Photomath is based on machine learning algorithms. The machine learning algorithms are based on some object recognition AI technologies. Photomath also has custom modifications for its use case and have optimized those technologies so they can run really fast on a mobile device.

 

Here’s what users are saying:

“I LOVE this app. Every time I show it to students they are just amazed by it (as am I). The fact that it shows alternate ways of solving the equations makes for great learning opportunities that might be missed in a regular class.”

— Adam M., Teacher

 

“This app is amazing for kids to help them understand math. As a parent, I don’t know too much about algebra and this has helped me with my kid’s homework.”

-- April C., Parent

 

“I used to hire tutors that were over $100/hour but they often didn’t teach in a way that resonated with my kids. Photomath’s step explanations are ideal for self-paced learning and it’s saving me hundreds of dollars each month!”

-- Katie C., Parent

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