By Shivani Patel, Staff Writer

Remember back in high school when you did extensive Google searches to solve elaborate math problems? Remember those sketchy tutoring services online you signed up for just so you could figure out a problem? Those days might very well be over with the creation of PhotoMath, an app that will be available on the App Store in early 2015.

PhotoMath, a free app designed for iOS and Windows (Android capabilities to come soon), is built to be a smartphone camera operator. You take a picture of a problem and it will immediately give you the answer onscreen. For example, if you took a picture of the problem “x + 14 – 5x = (2 – x)3”, it will automatically show “x = 8”. Afterwards, the app is designed to show you how to get to the answer with clear steps.

It runs on Mobileblink, a piece of mobile vision software that deals with real-time recognition of whatever’s on the camera screen.

The app supports a variety of math problems and concepts, including arithmetic expressions, fractions, decimals, powers, roots and simple linear equations with more being added.

There’s definitely room for students to grow with this app. Having something there to help guide students through math problems is the next best thing besides paying for tutoring. Of course, there’s a fine line between students using the app to actually do their homework rather than use it as a supplement or to learn from their mistakes.

Ultimately, PhotoMath doesn’t seem to be much of a help for late high school level math courses, let alone college-level courses (yet) but it does seem to have a lot of potential. With future updates and additions, this app could potentially change the way students do math – especially when children are exposed to tech at such a young and tender age.