Yesterday, I stumbled upon a very interesting new platform for digital reading. It is called “Spritz,” and the creators firmly believe that it is going to revolutionize the way people read. While I’m not sure that I totally agree, it is definitely a very intriguing idea. The basic concept behind Spritz is that the part of reading that is the most time consuming is physically moving your eyes from word to word. The people at Spritz have come up with a very simple solution to this.
This is what “Spritzing” looks like (click on the images to bring up a GIF). A string of text is put on your screen, one word at a time, and each word replacing the last. The rate at which you read is adjustable, ranging from 250 words per minute to 1000 words per minute.
Spritz is marketing their product to phone and tablet manufacturers, e-book companies and others. They say that their service is useable for email, text messaging, digital books, and closed captioning. They are also hoping to market their product to social media providers like Facebook and Twitter.
The most relevant application of this technology to our class is of course using Spritz for digital books. When reading at 500 words per minute becomes a relatively easy task, how much more could people read with the time that they have? To put this in perspective, at 500 words per minute, one could read Les Miserables (1,488 pages) in around 18 hours.
The makers of Spritz intend to make Spritz useable on phones, tablets, e-book readers, and smart watches. Some preliminary evidence also shows that Spritz may be beneficial to readers with dyslexia.
While there are some definite issues with this system of reading (blinking is the main one that comes to mind), it is no doubt a very interesting and promising platform that may eventually become commonplace.
The link to Spritz’s website is below. Try it out in the “about Spritz” section if you are interested.