The reading revolution is here, or so claim the creators of Spritz, a new app that is supposed to help people read faster by using a number of new techniques. But how well does it really work? Is it an overblown hype, or is this really the future to replace books? Let’s dive in and see what’s what.
The Time is Right for a Revolution…
To begin with, the time really is right for a reading revolution. While literacy in the world overall increased significantly over the 20th century, the understanding of the written word has decreased in developed countries over the last couple of decades, along with book reading. Fewer and fewer children read literature, both in and out of what is mandatory in school.
While the Internet age has brought on some amazing improvements to most aspects of our lives, we for instance covered this amazing revamp of a classic learning technique recently, literature is one that has been largely left alone. The use of e-books is expanding, but the world of books hasn’t changed as much as the world of music, film, or games. Is this the time for something else, a new system, to take over the roles that books have had until now?
…but What’s the Revolution Really?
That said, many people are unclear about what this revolution really is, so let’s break it down. Spritz is a new app that is about to be released on platforms specializing in Samsung’s new wearable technology. It focuses on speed reading, claiming that it can help anyone read a whole standard size novel in less than ninety minutes.
Spritz does this partly by traditional speed reading techniques – by showing a single word at the time for just a short period, forcing the reader to stay alert and not to drift off, as is common while reading a regular novel. But it also uses a much more complex system to find what they call “Optimal Recognition Points” (ORPs), which is the place in a word where you focus your eyes to be able to read the full word without moving between the letters. Spritz focuses on each word’s ORP, making it possible to continue to read without having to spend time subconsciously deciding where the ORP is.
And What Will it Actually Mean?
The hope is, of course, that Spritz as a technology will create a new wave in reading. One reason why literacy and reading is down seems to be that the new generation finds it to be a wasteful endeavor, as so much time is spent on reading a novel instead of just watching a forty-five minute documentary on the same topic. If this can help a bunch of people pick up reading, that’s an amazing thing.
Unfortunately this kind of thing can also quite easily be over hyped. The one thing Spritz really brings to the table is the automated ORP search, while all other aspects of speed reading are already out there, either by software of just with a regular paper book. Will this really be a big revolutionary thing? I guess all we have to do is wait around for the release.