Lacona has an incredible integration with Soulver, allowing you to perform tons of natural-language calculations. This integration got even better with the latest release (2.3.1).

Unlike other integrations, Lacona can use all of Soulver’s powerful functionality even if you don’t have Soulver installed, and it doesn’t require a Lacona Pro subscription.

Of course, Lacona is great at quick calculations, but it goes way beyond that. I wanted to show off some of my coolest real-life calculations from the past few weeks, to demonstrate how powerful and useful this can be.

My wife and were daydreaming about moving farther out from Boston, since we’re both working from home. Mortgage calculations are always a huge pain, but Lacona simplifies them dramatically.

monthly repayment on $312000 over 30 years at 3.75% + 175 hoa fees

I needed to schedule a meeting with a colleague in Zürich near the end of their work day. It’s usually a 6-hour time difference, but I knew the date was near daylight savings, so I double-checked with Lacona.

boston oct 28 11:30am in zurich

I’m planning to travel to China as soon as possible, so I was pricing out flights. I was looking at buying tickets from two separate airlines, which means the return flights were priced in Yuan. This makes the calculating the total price really complicated, but Lacona makes it simple again.

4,692 cny + $820

I recently found a video of someone riding 300 miles on a Onewheel and I wondered how long it must have taken. I found the device’s top speed on another page, but it was listed in km/h. I started doing the math in my head, but then remembered that Lacona could handle it for me.

300mi at 25km/h

This is just a small picture of what’s possible with this great, completely free integration. You can read the full list of what’s possible at the Soulver Docs.

Today is a big day for Lacona! Lacona Pro is now available, including some amazing integrations with Things, Ulysses, Lungo, Yoink, and Twitter.

This coincides with Lacona 2’s launch on Setapp, which has Lacona Pro included. Ulysses, Lungo, and Yoink are also available on Setapp, so Lacona makes the perfect companion!

To promote this, Lacona is up on Product Hunt today. Check it out!

Lacona - Superpowers for your keyboard. Don't just search—Command. | Product Hunt Embed

Interacting with computers requires us to translate our thoughts into concrete actions. Our thought is “I want to remember an appointment,” but our actions may be “open Calendar, find the date, drag the mouse over the time you want, enter the title and other fields, click save.” We’re translating our thoughts into clicks and keystrokes.

Much of user experience research boils down to “how can we make this translation process as simple as possible?”

Graphical User Interfaces are carefully tuned to reduce this translation overhead by making use of common patterns. Natural Language Interfaces (like Siri) seek to reduce this overhead even further by understanding the language that humans already use to communicate. For some cases, this works great and provides an effortless alternative to clicks or taps.

However, we’ve all had that awkward experience of trying to give Siri a long command and blanking halfway through. We seemingly forgetting the syntax of the language we use all day long. Why does this happen?

It turns out that communicating with Siri still involves a translation process which is it is at least as complex as the graphical alternative. Our mind doesn’t process thoughts in perfectly structured sentences. Concepts and ideas float around with loosely defined relationships. Some thoughts we picture as images rather than words. Some people lay thoughts out in an imaginary multi-dimensional space. Our brains need to work hard to map this chaos into a string of words. Doing this for an impatient robot sometimes proves difficult.

The Solution?

So does Lacona solve this problem? Maybe a bit.

Unlike traditional GUIs, Lacona allows for dramatically increased fuzziness. You don’t need to think of your contact’s last name to find them in a sorted list. You can type parts of their first name, or their last name, or their initials, or their relationship to you, and Lacona will do its best to figure it out. The text-based approach requires less hierarchy and precision, but allows access to dramatically more data.

Unlike voice interfaces, Lacona is patient. I don’t need to know exactly what I want to do before I start typing. I can pause and think—or even click away—before continuing my query.

Perhaps even more importantly, Lacona is order-agnostic; I can enter data in the order it comes to mind. Perhaps my spouse reminds me of a doctor visit that may not yet be on my calendar. I type “Doctor” into Lacona. As it returns no upcoming Calendar results, I determine that it must not be on my calendar. From there, I can press return to add “Doctor” to my shelf. Perhaps then I want to add the date before it slips my mind, and add that to the shelf as well. Only then do I decide to use the “create event” command and select the appropriate calendar.

Natural Language alone does not allow for this construct. No voice assistant could handle the string “doctor next tuesday create event personal,” but Lacona’s innovative shelf makes it natural. Perhaps next time I perform this task, I go about it in a different order. Minds are fuzzy like that.

This isn’t anywhere close to a direct brain-to-computer interface, but surely it’s a step in the right direction.