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This app makes reading 500 words per minute easy

Posting in Technology
Do me a favor. Take this reading test

How'd you do? Worse than you expected? Are you a college graduate reading at the supposed level of an 11th grade student? A high-level executive reading like an average college graduate? Don't worry. A new app is about to make it easier for most of us to read faster than we would read the average page of text. 

The app is called Spritz. It's not even available for download yet and some are already calling it "the biggest thing since paper."

Why? It's best to try it first.

Try reading with the service at 250 words per minute:
 
spritz-250-wpm.gif
 

Now, let's double it. 500 words per minute:
 
spritz-500-wpm.gif
 
Give it a couple tries and, surprising, it's easier than you might have expected to read at 500 words per minute. 

The idea behind Spritz is that the service shows you one word at a time, rapidly, in the same place. That way you don't waste time moving your eyes back and forth to scan a document, email, this article, or whatever else you're reading, and you can read faster. 

As Spritz explains on its website: "Spritz makes streaming your content easy and more comfortable, especially on small displays. Our "Redicle" technology enhances readability even more by using horizontal lines and hash marks to direct your eyes to the red letter in each word, so you can focus on the content that interests you."

The company says it's in the process of licensing the technology to numerous companies, from mobile device manufacturers to e-book companies. And their intended applications are many: email, social media, text messages, digital books. It could be used in everything from wearables like Google Glass to smart watches to outdoor ads. 

Spritz will debut in an email application in the new Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch, according to re/code.

Based on limited interaction with the technology, it certainly seems like a well-executed technology boost to reading time. But there are some concerns:

  • You might be able to read the first Harry Potter book in 77 minutes, but what if you blink?
  • What if you lose focus for a split second and miss a section of what you're reading? How do you go back?
  • How does content retention compare with traditional reading methods?
  • Will Times Square one day turn into Spritz, seizure-inducing madness with all the billboards using the technology?
For more information about how Spritz works, go here.
  
[h/t viiviwagner/imgur]

Photo: Flickr/rachels1221



 
 


— By on February 27, 2014, 10:28 PM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure