Think Aloud explores book-related discussions encompassing reading, writing, blogging, and perhaps newsworthy content. The focus is to push the boundaries, stretch the mind, and encourage dialogue within this community. Let’s all think out loud.
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Spritz Smartphone Reading App
I came across this interesting article yesterday on I Fucking Love Science! [IFLS] about this upcoming smartphone app that significantly hastens reading by optimizing the time it takes to read and understand a word. The thought-train behind this technology analyses and identifies the optimal recognition point (or a focal point) of every word and streams the text in alignment to the ORP so that words can be recognized quickly without strenuous ocular movement. By utilising this method in reading, books which would otherwise take several hours to days to complete can be easily read in a few hours depending on the words per minute (WPM) speed selected. The default speed is 250 WPM and increases by increments of 50, up to 1000.
To demonstrate, these are the images pulled from IFLS:
At 250 WPM and 500 WPM respectively.
I know this topic isn’t earth shattering, but I wanted to gauge peoples responses to see if it eliminates the traditional book or an emerging e-reader. Surprising, I don’t have a smart phone with amazing capabilities (I’d like to say I’m one-up on a Nokia brick) so I wouldn’t be able to test this even when it comes out.
But playing devil’s advocate, I don’t find myself being very good at using this technology with consideration towards knowledge retention being the weighted reason. Personally, when certain reads call for forethought and skepticism, I err on the side of having to pause and reread passages. While this isn’t true for most of my reads, I find myself changing the reading speed based on the inherent narrative itself. Basically, contemplative or mystifying moments churn in my head much slower than fast-paced suspense and action-oriented scenes; which I usually fly by. Furthermore, for book reviewing purposes, I do tend to pause and jot my notes/quotes down (while sometimes staring at the words as I think). But I can’t truly hark on this app until I’ve truly tested it myself. I just don’t see myself being a case study where this application would help anymore than it would hinder my reading capabilities.
How do you feel about this application, would you use it?
What are some of your concerns while you read?
(Full disclosure: I didn’t know my tagline was an actual coined term. It’s apparently an existing methodology that somewhat lends itself to the purposes of these posts. So as much as I thought of this clever name, I shouldn’t take credit for it.)
2 thoughts on “[Think Aloud] – #1 – Spritz Smartphone Reading App”
I agree that it’s really cool, but I probably wouldn’t use it. I usually skim giant paragraphs of descriptions and linger on the well-written/important parts. Practically, if you were using the app and you got distracted or something else needed your attention, it would be almost impossible to find your place again!
Yeah I was wondering how that would work as well. I would hate to have to backtrack each time I’m distracted (which is quite a lot!).
I certainly question the efficacy of using a ‘pause’ function if one does get distracted though. In theory it would leave a lingering thought much like a face-to-face conversation on hold (re: distractions). But even then you could say “could you repeat what you said?” … I guess in this case you’d have to manually dial back or something? Agitating!