Book club slackers and study shirkers, rejoice! Boston based startup company, Spritz, has just developed the next step forward in speed-reading technology – ensuring that your excessive procrastination skills won’t cause reason for falling behind on your comprehension or chapter count. Prepare to have your mind blown and your reading speed significantly ‘spritzed’.
While it can be nice to take the time to curl up with a good book and really get immersed in the romance of reading, the reality is this may not always be possible in the ever-quickening and time-constrained digital world of ours. Traditional reading is naturally time-consuming, as your eyes need to wander between words and lines. In fact, it is estimated that roughly 80% of time spent ‘reading’ is dedicated to physically scanning the page to find the next word and its ‘Optimal Recognition Point’ (the exact point in each word where our brain decrypts the letters). Once your brain finds the ORP, it can begin to process the meaning of the word (the other 20% of reading time). Seems quite inefficient now, doesn’t it?
Enter Spritz, who has set out to revolutionise the way people read. Rather than reading across a page, Spritz has come up with a method of compact text streaming. Words are streamed, one at a time, on to your display. Spritz recognizes the ORP of each word and highlights it in red, all while presenting each ORP in the exact same position as the previous word. This allows your eyes to stay fixated to one point of the screen while reading, eliminating the need to scan between words and lines – effectively making your reading time 80% more efficient!
Further matters regarding fonts and how to deal with longer words have all been considered in the 3 years of development. For example, when our eyes recognise words longer than our focal distance (horizontal distance on the page people can see while reading; usually around 13 characters), they are broken up into multiple sections to be processed by our brain. Spritz also does this for longer words, presenting them in the way your brain prefers to see them, thus resulting in further reductions in reading time.
Average adult traditional reading speed is around 250 words per minute. However, whilst trying not to sound like I have come down with a serious case of FIGJAM, Spritz had me reading at over 600 words per minute! Think about it, that’s quick enough to read J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Ring’s series in roughly 13 hours! (Extended movie series is only 1.5 hours shorter).
Certain individuals have even claimed to be reading up to 1000 words per minute. While this all sounds a bit overwhelming, Spritz has found that information retention and understanding is on par, if not better, than traditional reading. It has also proved useful for some groups of people with reading disabilities, such as dyslexia. The technology debuted on the 23rd of February 2014, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and has already received much acclaim from all corners of the World Wide Web. It’s not hard to see why!
This technology is potentially game changing to the reading process that has existed for thousands of years. It will be interesting to see where this revolutionary reading technology will lead, but my prediction is that it won’t be long before we see students all over the globe ‘spritzing’ their way through final examination notes, or stressed parents just trying to finish that forgotten book in time for their weekly book club meeting.
‘Spritzing’ may not be as romantic as traditional reading, but it saves the trees and eliminates those annoying times where you get lines confused and end up reading the same line multiple times before realising you need to move on to the next one. (No? Just me?) Plus, anything that allows someone to smash out George R. R. Martin’s entire A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) series in a return flight to London is OK with me.
Find out more at: www.spritzinc.com