Graphing calculators let you punch in an equation and shows you the resulting lines. The Casio Prizm can do that, too. More impressively, though, it can perform the exact reverse, letting you plot any shape over an image and spitting out the correct equation for it.
Billed as the “next generation graphing calculator,” it’s the first handheld machine of its kind to incorporate the clever calculation regression function, which Casio calls the Picture Plot*1. Using this, students can study real life scenes (it has 55 default pictures preloaded), plot lines on it and study how the different shapes are represented in mathematical form.
The Casio Prizm comes in a candybar-style form factor (which, I think, is horrible), measuring 3.52 x 7.42 x 0.81 inches and weighing half a pound. Onboard screen is a full-color LCD (sharper than any calculator before it), which is powered by four AAA-size alkaline batteries with an estimated usage time of 140 hours.
Of course, the thing has all the typical advanced graphing calculator functions, including a spreadsheet screen and color-coding of complex equations. It also has an included USB port that you can use to hook the calculator up to a compatible Casio Green Slim projector for classroom discussions and group presentations.
Back when I was in school, I always thought it was silly to study math when a calculator can do all the computations I needed. This only re-affirms my decision to regularly skip class. Casio will drop the Prizm starting January of next year, priced at $129.99.
[Casio Prizm via Gadget Lab]