I’m usually a slow reader, and it takes me 40 effective hours to shoot through a standard size book. My colleague gave me a tip to read books using redicle technology developed by Spritzinc (where you can try it). Downloading the app, I was slow at first, but after a while, I realized I could increase speed without losing content. On my test book, I’ve used 5 hours and are expecting to use 8 hours to read the entire book.
The company says:
Reading is inherently time consuming because your eyes have to move from word to word and line to line. Traditional reading also consumes huge amounts of physical space on a page or screen, which limits reading effectiveness on small displays. Scrolling, pinching, and resizing a reading area doesn’t fix the problem and only frustrates people. Now, with compact text streaming from Spritz, content can be streamed one word at a time, without forcing your eyes to spend time moving around the page. Spritz makes streaming your content easy and more comfortable, especially on small displays. Our “Redicle” technology enhances readability even more by using horizontal lines and hash marks to direct your eyes to the red letter in each word, so you can focus on the content that interests you. Best of all, Sprit’s patent-pending technology can integrate into photos, maps, videos, and websites to promote more effective communication.
Yeah, sales talk – I thought, but it actually works. Question is how. Is it that simple that we spend time moving our eyes around that gets us to lose focus on reading while reading? Alternatively, is it that the technology present words one at a time at a predetermined speed?
The closest thing (I know of) referencing word recognition is Ph. D Susan Weinschenk informed the community in her article 100 Things You Should Know About People: #19 — It’s a Myth That All Capital Letters Are Inherently Harder to Read that the shape theory is wrong:
It’s parallel letter recognition, not word shape — the old theory on word shapes comes from a psycholinguist named Cattell who came up with that theory in 1886. There was some evidence for it, but more recent research shows that it is letters you are recognizing and anticipating. You don’t recognize words by the shape of the word. You recognize familiar letter sequences. The research strongly suggests that you recognize all the letters in a word at the same time, and then you use the recognition of those letters to recognize the word.
So combining these theories suggests that - Letter recognition to word recognition and - No eye movement and consistent speed
However, is it as simple as that, to increase reading speed five times?