TI's New Calculator Adds Up to a Handy Device

Carl Weinschenk

All I can say is that it's too bad this wasn't available when I went to school.


This ExtremeTech story describes Texas Instruments' new TI-Navigator, a classroom calculator that sends signals wirelessly to a PC. This allows the instructor to track what the student is doing -- and correct mistakes in real time.


This obviously is a great educational tool, and the basic functionality -- put into different host devices -- seems likely to be useful to businesses. In addition to corporate training (in which the device would be used in the same way as in academia), the basic premise of collecting inputs and sending them to a monitoring party could help managers ensure that various tasks are being performed correctly. It also seems likely that the platform can enhance security, perhaps via spot checks of what workers are doing.


In the broader picture, attaching the right sort of software to the basic tool may enable companies to improve employee performance, even if they are not making overt mistakes. By tracking how repetitive tasks are being accomplished, the system could turn up ways to increase efficiency.


There are privacy concerns. The key question: Does a company have the right to electronically peer over employees shoulders as they are working? If the answer is yes (which it probably is), the basic functionality -- which TI introduced at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in New York City on Monday -- seems to have application far beyond the ivy tower.

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