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How Spritz and Galaxy Gear 2 Get You Reading at 1000 WPM

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 7 comments

A solution to reading email on that tiny screen.

The Gear 2 is great for displaying notifications, monitoring your fitness, and making calls. Unfortunately, if you do receive an email while out and about, you're going to have to whip out your phone to read it. Reading anything on that 1.63-inch 320 x 320 display just isn't practical. One U.S. startup, Spritz, is hoping to change that.

 

The purpose of the company's app is to increase the speed of your reading while saving you the trouble of taking out your phone, launching your email application, and scrolling through the text. When we read, we automatically seek out a specific point in the word before processing the meaning of the word. Moving from word to word and finding that point takes up 80 percent of the time we spend reading. The other 20 percent is spent processing the text itself. The app takes the optimal recognition point or ORP in each word and highlights it in red. This means your brain doesn’t have to actively look for the ORP, because it’s already right there. The app can then scroll through words much quicker than you would normally be able to read them, eventually working its way through the whole email. All without ever taking out your phone. The demo we saw was on its slowest setting, displaying 250 words a minute. This can be adjusted as you get more comfortable, and the maximum is 1,000 words per minute.

"We're reinventing the way people read by eliminating the obstacles associated with traditional reading on mobile devices," said Co-Founder and CEO Frank Waldman. "As smart devices continue to change shape and become increasingly smaller, Spritz enables users to read comfortably and conveniently. Our technology can be used to read emails, text messages, social media streams, maps or web content and can be integrated onto any mobile device – the options are almost limitless."

 

Of course, this technology isn’t without its faults. During our brief time with the app, we found that smaller words, or words that crop up in all genres of text every day, were easy to process. Our brain would register that word and then jump to the next one. It was automatic and we didn’t have to think about it. With longer words, we almost felt a bit rushed. Not to the point of discomfort, but enough to check ourselves and have to “manually register” that word as opposed to just filing it automatically. Still, you’re reading and registering every single word of the text, which isn’t always the case when reading pieces of text at increased speeds and it makes sense in the context of a smartwatch. Spritz also works on smartphone and desktop, but those implementations would be more for those who are too busy to read email as opposed to those that have the time but not the screen real-estate.

Before you get excited, you can’t download Spritz from the app store. The company is a start-up based in Boston and worked with Samsung to put the app on its Galaxy S5 and Gear 2 devices. Spritz says it is working with content providers, mobile manufacturers, software developers, web portals and more to bring the technology to users. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like it will be available for download in the app store anytime soon.

if you want to try out Spritz for yourself, you can hit 'Click to Spritz' on the Spritz website. Try it on 250 wpm before jacking it up to 500 wpm to see how fast you could be reading with some practice.

Follow Jane McEntegart @JaneMcEntegart. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

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  • 2 Hide
    rwinches , February 26, 2014 1:58 AM
    I like to see a tech article at 500+ to see if the same results can be attained.
    The sample was really no challenge, but still intriguing.
    Much better than reading a crawl.
    A nice innovation.
  • 0 Hide
    squirrelboy , February 26, 2014 2:31 AM
    This looks like it would be amazing for people with dyslexia. And people without dyslexia.I am really looking forward to seeing implementations of this, being able to feed e-books through it or something like that would save massive amounts of time.
  • 0 Hide
    jankeke , February 26, 2014 3:52 AM
    Also for visually impaired people who have trouble following a text line. Like people with tunnel vision (like myself). Very interresting stuff.
  • -1 Hide
    koolkei , February 26, 2014 7:35 AM
    i know it's kinda offensive. but for normal people with no need for this, but i just get the idea in my head"wow so we don't need to think to read anymore because my watch did it for me"
  • 1 Hide
    Superwack , February 26, 2014 8:00 AM
    I'm a very smart guy, but I read terribly slow. I love this idea. I love to read, but I hate how long it takes me to read long books. I think this would really help. I hope it becomes available everywhere soon!
  • 0 Hide
    Gojuro1949 , February 26, 2014 1:01 PM
    Something like the speed reading system I was trained with in fifth grade (gifted program, how pretentious heh heh) about 55 years ago. Used a projector and a masking system to emphasize single words and phrases. I easily hit the 500 mark in the demo, so I guess the training still holds even in my decrepit old brain.
  • 0 Hide
    vaughn2k , February 26, 2014 11:10 PM
    "Subject: Update on girls on the..."? c'mon, just cut the crap, what's the update with the girls??