Wolfram Alpha [http://www.wolframalpha.com/], the self-proclaimed “computational knowledge engine” that produces all manner of calculations and factoids from a given input, has been around in its current, free-to-use form since 2009. Last month, however, the makers of the engine unveiled Wolfram Alpha Pro [http://www.wolframalpha.com/pro/], a subscription-based service that offers an even wider range of features.
Where the free version of Wolfram Alpha accepts input only as text, through a search-engine-style interface, the Pro variant can process uploaded documents. Images [http://www.wolframalpha.com/examples/ImageInput.html] can be analyzed and processed with different filters; text in the image can be read into an editable form. Spreadsheets can be uploaded to allow mass computation of various attributes, rather than entering individual equations and numbers as the free version would require. Audio files can be analyzed, and various scientific, mathematical, and geometric formats can also be interpreted.
In addition to the increased format compatibility, Wolfram Alpha Pro also increases the interactivity [http://www.wolframalpha.com/pro/interactive-features.html] of produced results. Parameters of equations can be altered in real-time, without the need to re-submit the equation. 3D graphics and enhanced visualizations allow for results to be more easily interpreted; the ability to zoom and scale output is new to the Pro version. Furthermore, results produced are more in-depth, as Pro users receive additional computation time on all their queries.
Wolfram Alpha Pro is available from the Wolfram Alpha site [http://www.wolframalpha.com/pro/]. Subscriptions start at $4.99 per month, though special discounts are available for students and educators.