Spritz: Speed Reading Reconsidered

So I saw this neat little thing around the webs a little over a month ago and it fully captivated my attention, sparking the little bookworm in me. I haven’t seen it blogged around much since, so I decided to update on its progress. It’s a program by the name of Spritz and, my jolly, it would speed up my reading progress in the on-hold-to-read-list department by as much as 2.25x my current reading speed. What a convenience!

Simple, clean, and efficient

Spritz (presumably a play on “sprint”?) is a fascinating novelty in both its simplicity and usefulness. Upload a text or e-book file to Spritz and you’ll be put in a (somewhat restraining) scenario where your eyes are forced to read a cascade of words at an alarming speed. To quote the article below, a gargantuan literary door-stopper like Tolstoy’s War and Peace could be digested in as little as nine hours, provided one is willing to not blink for the entirety of the ride. Projects like Spritz fascinate me because they fill in an empty niche that pertains to my interest at the expense of very basic programming. All Spritz does is extract individual elements, mostly words, from the original source and displays them at a user-specified pace. Oh and applying groundbreaking individually researched¬†optimal recognition point technology, which is just fancy jargon for changing the font color of a single middle letter to better align one’s eyesight with the text.

Current status

Due to the nature of Spritz, I would think the program should have been released to the mass public by now, if not by very careful marketing. This seems to have delayed the release of the application and no release date has been finalized as of this writing. I’m not fully convinced by the staff’s self-purported expertise and “several years of research” on reading comprehension, but the demo online is fascinatingly convincing for me to acknowledge that it does work quite well to some degree. The developers have truly gone a long way and Spritz has just completed a $3.5 million crowd funding, and even being recently advertised on the Nasdaq billboard on Times Square. Yes, I’m very jealous.

A threat to lecture?

As with many others who love the theoretical benefits to Spritz, I too have a few qualms with regards to the methodology. Given that the literary experience of visually rendering a story as it is being read is severely impaired, very little time can be allocated for the not-so-quick-of-mind to fully comprehend plots. In other words, many people will suffer following along if their comprehension can’t keep up with the speed at which the text is displayed. I’m willing to overlook this potential fault, as one can fully customize displaying speed and theoretically up the game as one becomes more comfortable with the pace. The developers claim that this visual training does improve overall comprehension in the long run with some test subjects fulling comprehending after reading at 900 wpm, so I’m willing to give the application a try to see if it promotes neurological growth in those brain departments.

Look forward to start speed reading with your Spritz application on your android mobile device, android wear, and google glass.

Source: Original Blog Post

More info: Official Site