Most Popular Posts

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

An app for speed reading

Have you heard about Spritz, the app that helps people read more quickly? According to Spritz, while reading, you spend only 20% of your time processing the words, while 80% of your time is spent physically moving your eyes around the page. To avoid that, Spritz flashes one word onto the screen at at a time, without forcing your eyes to move around the page.

Here, you're reading at 250 words per minute:




Now you're reading 350 words per minute:




And now 500 words per minute:



Fascinating, right? Spritz is still in development, but you can read articles right now with Spreeder. What do you think? It's a little intense for reading in bed, but might be great for work or news? xoxo

P.S. Awesome people reading, and the very long book I'm currently reading.

(Via Digital News. Photo of Alfred Hitchcock)

58 comments:

Kayla said...

Cool concept, but personally I can't stand it. It hurts my eyes, even at the lower speed, and there's just something lovely about holding a book in your hands that I still cling to in this digital age.

Roz Mignogna said...

Wow! I just read 500 words per minute!!! Woohoo! Haha. BUT, this would be awesome for just some of the reading I need to do. Otherwise, I enjoy the slow paced, relaxing process of reading a paper book- even if that means I'm wasting most of my time moving my eyes around the page. ;)

Betsy said...

I work in literacy and I am curious how this impacts comprehension. It might increase reading fluency but I think it might impede comprehension in people who are less skilled readers. I certainly don't KNOW that so I

Personally, I found it annoying and hard to read. Once I got to 400 wpm I got more comfortable, though. I am a very speedy reader so it was too slow for me until then. I don't think I am the target demographic but if it helps people to read more quickly and efficiently, I am all for it!

Aja Lake said...

Fascinating. How's The Goldfinch going? I did read the plot synopsis--it seems heartwrenching!?

Elspeth said...

fascinating, maybe, but it makes me want to throw up! eek:)

Joanna Goddard said...

kayla, i agree! i love the feeling of reading books lying in bed or on the sofa...and i LOVE reading children's books to toby.

Joanna Goddard said...

aja, i'm such a slow reader! i'm only the smallest amount into it :)

Narius said...

This would have saved my life in school!
It certainly can't replace 'comfort' reading--but as a mild dyslexic, isolation of one word without the distraction of the whole page makes a wild difference. I have always been a 'fast' reader--but mostly because I scan the page and pick up cues about where new information is unfolding; missing some detail, but gathering main facts or ideas.
I will definitely buy this app when it's available.
Joanna, you post such neat things--I love your blog!

Julie Arthur said...

Oh I can't stand it! I "hear" the words as they appear, so it seems as though the speaker is speaking very awkwardly (with the various tempi of the words changing). Plus what happens if you blink?!?!?! My husband and I are also wondering about comprehension... Speed reading has never been a problem for me, so I think I'll stick to the "old-fashioned" way for now. :)

Kate Smith said...

I think this is so neat for work things or news but not for novels. I kept "saying" the words in my head in a robot voice if that makes any sense. It would totally ruin fiction for me.

Katie said...

I love this! The 500 wpm was no problem for me... I wish I could use it read my students papers grading would go so much more quickly!!

Schenck catherine said...

I'm a slow reader, couldn't do the 500 wpm... Or I could but didn't really uderstand what I was reading. Sounds like a great idea though!

amanda said...

I guessing this only really works in so much as you are very comfortable with all of the vocabulary of what you're reading and as long as the sentence structure and content isn't too complicated. Any word or sentence that would give you a moment's pause during regular reading would mean that you would have to stop the app and back up to read for context clues, look up a definition, etc.

It would work well for Twilight, but not so much high brow lit.

ohnomyboots said...

This is stupendously awesome- I just got through a NYT article in a flash!!!!

Valerie said...

Ha! Julie, Kate, I hear the words too and had the' robot voice' in my head too!
Yeah, that would ruin fiction and a lot of things for me too.

Ania Waluda said...

wow. That's interesting.

Jenny said...

I have to say, I read the Goldfinch based on your recommendation(or your friends recommendation I guess) and not only did I not love it, I really disliked it...though I did read the entire thing(pat on my back)! I think her prosaic writing just got to me after awhile...the book really should've been like 400 pages shorter.

kelly said...

Oh this is incredible! I have ALWAYS been a slow reader. Any time I try to pick up the pace I totally lose comprehension. This could be really useful!

Erin said...

Completely fascinating. As someone who does a fair amount of science reading for a living, this could be useful. I also have a colleague with visual impairment - I wonder whether this might work well for her...interesting!

Erin Riley said...

I read the Goldfinch at your suggestion. I just finished last week and I loved it, but yes, I found it heart-wrenching.

Patty said...

I knew I was smart... and quick... but... whoa.

Kari said...

I hate it. I think it takes all the joy out of reading. I suppose it would be good if one has to do a lot of non-pleasurable reading for work or school. But I would question their assertion that it improves one's comprehension. I already can't remember what I read on there.

Alli said...

I think it's terrible! What about savoring the language that an author took time to craft? And what if you want to back up and reread something? I think I would get flustered!

Chloe said...

wow this is so crazy! i think it's a good idea to have words flash at the bottom of a news screen rather than have the slowly scrolling words, but i definitely wouldn't want to read a book like this!
xox
chloe
http://popcosmo.com

CarmenB. said...

Very cool. I'm amazed at the technology and the serious increase in reading speed.

But I was so afraid to blink, cause I thought I'd miss a big chunk. lol

Kate said...

I'm hopefully going back to school next year, and I'm super excited to try this out with articles and other not-so-exciting reading that comes with most classwork, but probably wont' use it for pleasure reading. I wish I'd had this in undergrad! But I'm a super fast reader when I really love a book. I devoured A House In the Sky by Amanda Lindhout last week in like, 4 hours. Highly, highly recommended. I mean absurdly high. Just go read it now.

elizabeth said...

Sorry. Never have been terribly impressed by fast reading. I think of reading a good book as luxury time. Why rush it? Make it last and last, baby.

Berta C. said...

Interesting. I could not keep up with 500wpm or even 300wpm.

Akshara Vivekananthan said...

Wow, interesting! I personally wouldn't like the app for leisure reading but maybe for news or work related stuff it might be worth a shot!

HY said...

This is certainly interesting but I can't stand it! Like others mentioned, I too, hear the words in my head and it would ruin the lovely cadence and feeling of written dialogue in novels. Blinking seems like it would be a problem!

Daniella C said...

Honestly, isn't everything already fast enough? Enough is enough. For me, this is totally unnecessary. Does it make you read fast? Yes. But it doesn't seem like you'd retain any information. I love going over the pages of a book, re-reading sections and highlighting your favourite parts. I don't see that app catching on!

Amy P said...

I've seen this around. I personally find it very stressful for my eyes. I'm wondering if someone will suffer an epileptic episode from it! I'm a speedy reader (about 700wpm for novels, lower for textbooks and the like where comprehension is much more difficult). I took a speed reading course at university with a friend and it turns out that I do one of the tricks they were teaching - my eyes gather more words per 'jump'. For instance my eyes will jump two or three times per line in a book instead of five or six. So Spritz breaking a word like 'comprehension' into three words is really annoying and pointless. Plus, if they start making news articles etc like this, you'll have to read the entire thing instead of skimming it to find what you want. So advertising will be very hard to skip over too!
I also found it difficult to blink - I'd miss a word or two, which would jar me, and then I'd miss another word trying to get back into the rhythm of flashing words. Does Spritz have any recommendations for blinking? Eye drops beforehand, perhaps? ;)

Bexter said...

It was awesome until the computer froze, then I apparently missed about half of the paragraph.

girlseeksplace said...

I don't think my eyes could handle all that flashing. I've heard amazing things about The Goldfinch. I might treat myself to a Kindle copy over the summer when I have more time to read.

Sirena said...

I've seen this before and it kind of bums me out :-( If you can't read "fast enough" to feel satisfied by your own reading speed then only practice will improve it. You might be able to read super fast with this but I guarantee the wear and tear on your eyes will be the price you pay - and the icing on the cake? You aren't going to retain even a fraction of what you do with "traditional" reading. Not a fan!

Kiana said...

Great idea! Can't wait to try it out!

Rachael King said...

My husband and I were discussing this app a couple of days ago. Obviously it's not suitable for all reading material, the novel I want to read in a relaxed state in bed or for him complex scientific articles but for news stories etc that you are scanning quickly anyway (and potentially trying to read during that first 15mins in the office in the morning) it could have a lot of potential.

cittriccode dev said...

If you have an Android device, you can try fast reader.

You can import .txt, .epub, and even articles from your phone's browser.

Adela said...

I have never been on a roller coaster ride, but I think after trying that out I felt way out there. Not for me.

Adela said...

I have never been on a roller coaster ride, but I think after trying that out I felt way out there. Not for me.

Shelley Orr said...

I think I may be the only one really excited about this app and it's use for books. I seriously have no time to read. If I could break up a book into chunks of 15 minutes using this speed reader, I may actually get finished with a book every once and a while.

Natalie - The Senses Five said...

This would be great for some of the nonfiction books I force myself to read. But I do enjoy the slow reading process of a good fiction.

Skylark Studio said...

I have to say, I'm not sure if I'm dyslexic or what but I found this SO awesome. I tend to jump around a sentence when I'm reading on the page, skipping words for whatever reason and then having to go back, and also just skipping entire paragraphs if I find them boring! I tend to speed read books (maybe because I'm skipping half the words?!) without remembering them weeks later.

I'll definitely try this. I know this not the same as holding a book, etc. I wonder if this would help with younger readers who get bored or distracted easily?

Areej Ahmed said...

It's sickening how they have turned such an organic habit into a brain killer!!
That said, it might work for people who have to read through dozens of newspapers everyday or for all James Patterson fans who need to finish reading his dozen novels per year. And I am pretty convinced he was behind this invention...lol

nata said...

beautiful jewelry
white sapphire engagement rings

fleur_delicious said...

Oh, I really don't like it. There's the matter of comprehension to think of, for one thing. Yes, I've heard the interviews about how it doesn't affect comprehension "too much," but if you're like me - an academic with a literature background who thrills at the opportunity to appreciate the form of writing as well as the tale being told, then this eliminates one of the most thoughtful and delicious pleasures in reading. And I think the questions raised about how effective this model is with complex writers is a good one; I challenge anyone to read Henry James' The Golden Bowl on a speed reader, hahaha!

More disconcerting to me than the comprehension issue, however, is the fact that this style of reading aims to eliminate that voice in your head that speaks the words as you read: in short, you won't *hear* the words. Now, I haven't heard about any studies about how the presence or absence of this voice could affect our emotional connection to what we read, but I've always prized my ability to hear the speech I'm reading. Indeed, as a theatre scholar, my ability to immediately pick up on the emotional nuances behind word choice, hesitation, and repetition give me powerful insights into what these characters are really thinking as opposed to what they're saying/doing (and the gap between the two tells me worlds about who they are and how they feel). If that voice in my head was silenced ... how much would I lose?

Furthermore, studies have shown that reading classic literature enhances our capacity for sympathetic comprehension of other humans and improves our ability to read people's moods and intentions. I wonder if that would still prove true when these works are speed read so quickly that one no longer attributes vocal insinuation and timbre to each word one reads?

Bah. Perhaps I'm a luddite, but this isn't for me.

E said...

After you finish the goldfinch, I recommend the luminaries (the very long book I just finished reading!).

Fania Lubis said...

Keluaran Togel Hari Ini
prediksi bola
Spam di email
kisah dunia,
hitam putih,
artikel,
Prediksi bola,
Prediksi SGP,
Prediksi HKG,
kata bijak,
lagu terlaris,
Prediksi CHINA4D,
Prediksi Malaysia,
Prediksi Cambodia,
Info Terkini,
Prediksi Laos,
kamu gak rocknroll,
keephearthealthy,
cellulars-phones,
up dater

Mercer.nat said...

Yes. Not for me either. Something a little sad about it. Everything must be done as fast as possible, (ideally instantly) these days. Why do we feel that reading at a normal pace (whatever your normal pace is) is not good enough anymore? Why does reading a novel have to be about efficiency? I understand that it is simply keeping up with all the other apps and technologies that streamline stuff for us, but what is the rush in falling in love with a brilliant book? Some things are good slow. We need to hang out to the last bit of patience that we have!
Something I loved so much about The Goldfinch, for example, were the relationships and understandings you build with and about the characters. I am not sure this app would even give you that opportunity.
Call me a luddite but I think it takes the joy out of reading, and doesn't encourage a personal relationship with the writing, author, or characters.

But I do agree with other comments about how this would be great for news articles and other non-fiction pieces.

Poppy B. said...

Thanks for posting about this! I knew about the app, but hadn't looked into how it worked -- the examples you included are helpful. It's neat!

Sammi Egan said...

Yarg- headache!

Lily L-M said...

This is absolutely awesome! Thanks for sharing.

xo Lily
http://whilemyboyfriendsaway.blogspot.com

abo mahmoud said...

شركة تنظيف فلل بالرياض
شركة تنظيف شقق بالرياض
شركة تنظيف منازل بالرياض
شركة تنظيف مجالس بالرياض
شركة تنظيف فلل بجدة
شركة تنظيف فلل بالدمام
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض
شركة تنظيف واجهات بالرياض
شركة تنظيف مسابح بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل أثاث بالرياض
شركة تخزين عفش بالرياض

HRH Susan said...

Ha! This is pretty cool, but this is NOT for dyslexics.

راندا السيد said...



شركة تنظيف شقق بالرياض
شركة تنظيف فلل بالرياض

شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض

راندا السيد said...

شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض
شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
شركة نقل اثاث
شركة نقل اثاث بجدة

راندا السيد said...

شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض
شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
شركة نقل اثاث
شركة نقل اثاث بجدة

عمرو الراقى said...

شركة تنظيف فلل بالرياض

Site design by Apartment One
Federated Media Publishing - Style