Spritz: The Faster Speed Reader Technique

in Arts + Media, News, Pop Culture
March 9th, 2014

How many times have you not completed the reading assignment for you systems physiology class because you ran out of time? How many times have you attempted to use speed reading techniques like not subvocalizing, or talking to yourself as you read? A new Boston-based start-up claims to have solved the ‘slow reader’ problem and promises 600 words per minute for all.

One must be skeptical when approaching the front line technologies, as it is easy to be convinced that people have invented what you desire. For instance, when Tony Hawk promotes a brand “hoverboard” technology, Back to the Future fans went berserk. However, Spritz is a bit more open about the actual science behind their product.

Spritz is based on the idea that as you read, you spend most of your time locating the Optimal Recognition Position (ORP) of each word. This ORP begins in the center of small words and goes further left as a word becomes longer. If the ORPs of all the words are aligned on the page, Spritz claims that one will read their fastest. This is compared to Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) where all the words are either left- or center-aligned, depicted in Figure 1. According to the Spritz documentation, RSVP was developed in the 1960’s before digital media was readily available. Spritz aligns the ORPs on the page instead of arbitrarily arranging the words based on beginning, as seen in Figure 2. This eliminates most eye movement allowing the read to read faster.

Still skeptical? I was too. Try it out for yourself here and read the Spritz documentation in under four minutes

-Ben Lawson

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