People are getting excited about Spritz, a new questionably-named speed-reading app that promises readers the ability to read up to 1,000 words per minute — about four times as many words as the average American reads. It even sort of has a celebrity (investor) endorsement.
Spritz works by showing one word on a small screen at a time, allowing you to select language and speed (the demo gives options from 250 words per minute to 600 wpm, at 50 wpm intervals) before scrolling through text. You can up the wpm rate as you learn how to Spritz, a process that takes about five minutes, per the developers. The letters in each word are in black font, except for one key letter which is in red.
The app will come as a preinstalled email app on Samsung devices in April, but creators say they've been working in "stealth mode," figuring out how to make mobile users more efficient readers. They found that we're slowed down by unnecessary eye movements. We can comprehend as well just by focusing our sight onto a single, left-of-center letter in each word. Spritz will help us do just that, as they explain:
For each word, the eye seeks a certain point within the word, which we call the “Optimal Recognition Point” or ORP. After your eyes find the ORP, your brain starts to process the meaning of the word that you’re viewing. With each new word, your eyes move, called a “saccade”, and then your eyes seek out the ORP for that word. Once the ORP is found, processing the word for meaning and context occurs and your eyes move to the next word.