There’s been an lot of innovation when it comes to the way we read. There are books that allow you to literally feel the character’s emotions. There are electronic books you can “borrow” from the local library. Wonderful as all this technology is, it doesn't solve the inherent limitation of reading, which is that it usually takes a very long time.
The average reader reads at 220 words a minute. Most of us read from left to right, and often times we circle back for context, or are simply thrown off by the sheer number of words on a page. But mostly, we waste time by moving our eyes back and forth. That doesn't seem like something that would eat up much time, but it slows down how quickly we comprehend what we're reading. Spritz is technology that removes that heavy burden by doing something so unbelievably simple, it’s amazing that it will almost immediately double your reading speed: it displays one word at a time.
That’s it. No fancy tricks. At present, you can try it out on its website (linked below), and it really does work. I got up to reading 500 words per minute with ease. Though, it feels much more like a tool for simple, straightforward sentences. Reading Faulker with Spritz might be difficult, but that's fine, since it’s designed for small screens, launching first in the email application on the Samsung Gear 2 and Galaxy S5.
Aside from our eye movement taking time away from actually reading and comprehending, the usage of a smartphone gets in the way. All that scrolling costs time, so Spritz removes the need for it. It places each word at the “Optimal Recognition Point (ORP),” which is the placement in front of our eyes that’s best for reading comprehension of each individual word (multisyllabic words are read differently monosyllabic ones). Each word flashes for just long enough for you to recognize and record it before the next is flashed.
By using this technology, the company claims some folks are reading at 1,000 words per minute. The average novel is around 80,000 words, which means folks could read a novel in less than two hours. You could read a Hemingway novel in a lunch break, at those speeds. This certainly fits the fast-paced world we live in today, but the question remains, however obvious: is it a good thing? When the technology moves from email and onto our Kindles, what will we think then?