Wolfram|Alpha Pro launching this week

Summary:Wolfram|Alpha's founder explains the next big step in the evolution of the "knowledge engine," which is touted to enable users to dig deeper than ever into its vast library and personalize their experiences.

Wolfram|Alpha is expanding its knowledge data base -- at least for those who sign on to the new Wolfram|Alpha Pro platform launching this week.

Wolfram|Alpha creator Stephen Wolfram explained during a conference call on Monday afternoon that "instead of being an anonymous drive-by experience, in the Pro experience, people can log in and get much more involved."

Specifically, Wolfram broke down the new capabilities that will be seen on Pro in two categories: output and input.

The output features include:

  • Being able to generate interactive output using CDF (computable document format)
  • Support for downloading graphics in other forms (i.e. 3D geometry, vector graphics, formats for immediate use)
  • The ability to customize the output of images that Wolfram|Alpha produces (i.e. changing the input, title, frame, size, color)
  • Raw data downloads

New input features include an expanded keyboard in the desktop version (meaning more special characters) as well as being able to input searches by images besides just text.

"I find it much more useful than I ever expected, particularly these data upload capabilities," said Wolfram.

He added that what is exciting to him is that the Pro model not only accepts plain text input and general knowledge from the world-at-large like the original platform, but also individual knowledge and data.

Wolfram|Alpha Pro debuts worldwide this Wednesday, February 8. There will be a trial period option. Subscriptions start at $2.99 per month for students, followed by $4.99 per month for the general public.

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Topics: IBM, Apple, Google

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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