EquatIO: Predictive Math Writing

stock image of hands on a laptop with equations coming out of the screen

Since the original roll out of extensions in 2010, Google Chrome has become a leading hub of accessible apps for PC and Mac computers. Many of these apps are free or free to try, thus providing users with an exposure to accessibility that was never possible before, and with Chrome being responsible for over half off all of the world’s internet traffic, accessible apps and features have never been more mainstream. And, thanks to the open-sourced origins of this browser, new accessibility extensions are being added every day.

In today’s e-bulletin, we’ll be exploring EquatIO, a math extension that seeks to change the way that students approach equations. While being incredibly useful for students with math or print based learning disabilities, or for those with physical barriers to writing, this app could also be useful for any individual working with any level of mathematical expression.

What makes this app so unique is the degree of variety in which students can interact with any given mathematical equation or expression. With EquatIO, users can type, handwrite, or dictate mathematical expressions and the app will guess what users are typing or writing in real time, similar to predictive text technology. For example, if you type “mult” the app will recognize that you mean “multiply”. And, in effort to make the voice-to-text input as seamless as possible, the app will ignore “umms” and “errs” and other non-math related words.

High level math can sometimes involve multi-page mathematical expressions that might otherwise take hours to type out by hand, especially for users who experience difficulties related to writing, math, or fire motor control. Essentially, the idea of this app is to remove any of the laboriousness related to typing out mathematical expressions and instead focus on the math itself.

And, unlike some other apps, users aren’t required to learn any complicated code or programming language, although, for more advanced users, the app is compatible with LaTeX input. EquatIO is also fully compatible with Google Docs, Forms, Slides, Sheets, and Drawings, and with Google Forms, users are able to create their own digital quiz.

EquatIO offers a free 30-day trial with unlimited access to all features. For more information on EquatIO features, licensing and pricing, click here.

Tags: apps, assistive technology, AT HelpDesk, technology

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