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Calculator with Handwriting Recognition

Scan your calculator over a written equation to see the answer.
  [vote for,

I hate most calculators. I inevitably hit the wrong button, or realize that I made a mistake somewhere while entering the equation, and I have to start all over again. Sure, there are those fancy calculators where you type in the equation and you can go back and change it if needed - but why settle for that when your calculator could do everything itself?

To use my calculator, one would press the "Scan" button, wait for the display to read "Ready", drag it across the equation, and await an answer. After 60 seconds of idle time, it would just shut itself off again. No messing with small, poorly described buttons - everything it needs to know is taken from what you wrote.

The design of the unit would permit the calculator to be very small and lightweight. It would require only a few buttons ("Scan", scroll left, and scroll right) and it would be entirely powered by solar cells. As well, the display would have multiple lines, for cases where it could not solve an equation, but merely simplify it.

Good handwriting recognition software already exists, as seen in the NetwonOS, Mac OS X's Ink, the tablet edition of Windows XP, and several non-Graffiti PDAs. How much more difficult would it be to add recognition for fractions, exponents, and radicals?

The unit would be designed to handle advanced algebra - it would know that sqrt(-1) is sqrt(1)*i, for instance. Variables and irrational numbers such as Pi and c would be built in, and functions like tan() would be recognized as well. Whenever possible, it would solve for variables, and print them out on the display.

rgovostes, Oct 15 2003

almost what yor looking for http://www.cs.swan....RealCalculator2.mov
only diff is that you write the equations instead of scanning them [mawgadog, Aug 08 2005]


       think of all the time it will save schoolkids (+)
neilp, Oct 15 2003

       My palm pilot has a very nice calculator built in. This makes it a calculator with handwriting recognition. Not the same as your idea, but a solution to your problem.
Worldgineer, Oct 15 2003

       can it scan in a graph and work out the equation that formed it ?
neilp, Oct 15 2003

       No, but yours can't either. So there.   

       It does, however, know that sqrt(-1) is sqrt(1)*i, has Pi, c, and every useful conversion you can think of, full trig functions, and a whole bunch more.
Worldgineer, Oct 15 2003

       How would you know that it read in your equation correctly? Would you have to scan it multiple times to increase your confidence level?
phundug, Oct 16 2003

       I defy any piece of technology to read my handwriting. *I* can't read my handwriting. It's even worse than my brother's and he's a doctor.
squeak, Oct 16 2003

       Your typing is very legible.
Worldgineer, Oct 16 2003

       What phundug said. I'd have to proof its scan to make sure that it made no mistakes. Since I can type (even slowly and carefully) into a calculator faster than I can proof two equations/strings of numbers against each other, I'd be better off with a calculator with buttons.
st3f, Oct 16 2003

       I'd like [Worldgineer]'s solution, if I knew it didn't require any intermediate steps. That is, write out the formula and touch <solve> to get the answer.
phoenix, Oct 16 2003

       Depends on your equation, of course. But there are some nice equation-based programs for PDAs.
Worldgineer, Aug 08 2005

       I guess if the calculator displays on screen what it thinks it's recognizing, then you can press CONFIRM and then COMPUTE and accept the answer as valid.
phundug, Oct 08 2008


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