How Spritz Redesigned Reading, Letting You Scan 1,000 Words A Minute

When we read, our eyes move across a page or a screen to digest the words. All of that eye movement slows us down, but a new technology called Spritz claims to have figured out a way to turn us into speed-readers. By flashing words onto a single point on a screen, much like watching TV,Spritz says it will double your reading speed.

Spritz Inc. is attempting to redesign reading–and renaming it “spritzing”–by streaming one word at a time at speeds varying between 250 and 1,000 words per minute. Words are centered around an “Optimal Recognition Point” in a special display called the “Redicle.” This method reportedly eliminates the time-consuming need to move your eyes across a page, which Spritz’s research suggests improves focus and comprehension. “Atlas Shrugged in a day? You betcha,” promises the site.

Spritz may let you hoover up text, like speed-eating without chewing, but how does it affect enjoyment of reading? When reading a traditional book, our pace tends to fluctuate according to a sentence’s natural rhythm. We can re-read a confusing passage or slow down to savor a particularly beautiful sentence. By rapid-firing words at a robotic clip, Spritz’s system destroys those fluid rhythms and diminishes a reader’s sense of control. After a while, it feels a little like staring into a strobe light.

“If you’re reading Shakespeare, you’re not going to want to do it with Spritz,” Waldman admits. “But with a romance novel, for example, people skim like crazy anyway. They just rip through a book, reading for plot. Are they savoring every word? Probably not.”

Advertisements

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *

*
*

%d bloggers like this: