Fighting obscurity, Wolfram Alpha set to launch pro product with consumer appeal

Apple’s robotic personal assistant has helped show off the sexy side of computational search engine Wolfram Alpha. Now Wolfram is hoping that an upcoming release can breathe even more life into its less-than-wildly-popular search tool.

Three year-old Wolfram Alpha is set to launch a $4.99 per month ($2.99 for students) premium offering Wednesday replete with new features. But, more importantly, it’s finally making an effort to appeal to the average Joes and Janes of the world.

Hitherto, Wolfram Alpha has been the search engine of choice for data and information addicts who want to geek out on answers and calculations to basic or complex factual questions. When the company launched in 2009, it was mislabeled a Google-killer and later written off by the press altogether. Since then, it’s quietly continued on and recently found new life as the beloved brains powering some of Siri’s smart-ass responses.

Wolfram Alpha Pro, as detailed in a comprehensive review by The Verge, comes with more thorough and colorful reports, an extended keyboard that allows for easier character entry (handy for those complex mathematics problems), and an upload option so that users can have the site analyze and spit out custom reports on their own data files.

The latter is the killer, consumer-friendly feature, as pointed out by The Verge. “The ability to bring the entire brunt of Wolfram Alpha’s computational engine on any arbitrary piece of data democratizes the idea of statistical analysis,” said reviewer Dieter Bohn.

Okay, we’re intrigued. Knowledge is a powerful thing, and just maybe the new release can add some much needed sex appeal to Wolfram Alpha’s geeky central nervous system.

Photo credit: The Verge

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