Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Talking Calculators: Orion TI-84 Talking Graphing Calculator and Talking Scientific Calculator iOS app

Talking Calculators

Orion TI-84 Talking Graphing Calculator

It is amazing what technology can do these days. Take the Texas Instruments TI 84 calculator. But today I'm not talking about just any TI 84 calculator, I am talking about the Orion TI 84 talking calculator by Orbit Research. The Orion TI 84 is a TI 84 connected to a module, in which the module will read the calculators commands, read mathematical statements, and describe graphs by sound. I have recently learned about this wonder from the Texas Instruments' Twitter account. Here is the attached video:


In this video, Lillie Pennington, a high school student explores, uses the talking calculator in an algebra class. Pennington also describes how the calculator enables her to participate in mathematical discussion. This has made a positive impact in Pennington's academic career.

Interested in how the graph sounds? Check out this video published by the American Printing House for the Blind, as Ken Perry demonstrate how to graph online:


I can only imagine how a sine or cosine function would sound.

A lot more detail, including an un-boxing of the Orion TI 84 calculator, can be found in a series of videos by BraillePlus, which the link to the first video is here:


You can find the webpage for this calculator here:


Purchasing one will take a significant investment. This is not the first Texas instruments calculator Orbit has worked with, as there is also a Talking TI-36X calculator.

Talking Scientific Calculator iOS App by Adam Croser

Cost: $4.99 (I bought this app on 4/14/2015) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

Official website (software page): http://www.adamcroser.com.au/iPhone___iPad_Apps/iPhone___iPad_Apps.html

This is a scientific calculator that has the following features:

Two modes of operation: Standard and Formula. The Standard mode is a Chain mode which evaluates operations as they are entered, without regard to the order of operations. It also features two buttons for easy fraction entry: [A b/c] to enter whole number parts and converting results to mixed fraction form, and [b/c] to enter the numerator and the denominator, and also converts results to an improper fraction form. Formula mode is the algebra operating mode, where expressions are entered Expressions are calculated with the use of the equals key, and the order of operations are used.

The calculator comes with the default voice, which is very pleasant voice. You can record up to four different sets of voices so you can have your voice talk back to you as you operate the calculator operate the calculator. I would suggest that you are in a quiet place if you are record keys and operations.

If your iOS device has voice over turned on (which is done in the settings app), you can go over the keys and each key speaks its label. A double tap will activate the key in this mode.

This app also works with certain Bluetooth Braille keyboards.

What is curiously missing is the lack of the last answer function. But it is nice to see that implicit multiplication and the factorial function allows all real numbers instead of just integers. The app also works with hexadecimal integers. Below are some screenshots:

These are just two of the talking calculators on the market today. It is nice to recognize that mathematics and calculators are available to everyone.


This blog is property of Edward Shore. 2015

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