Spritz Wants to Change How You Read

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Feb. 26 2014 2:17 PM

Spritz Wants to Change How You Read by Showing You One Word at a Time

reading
A Galaxy S5 and a Gear 2 run the Spritz email app, where you can read your email more quickly by having it delivered one word at a time.

Photos by Spritz.

Reading may seem like a relaxing thing to do, and you may even worry that between Netflix, your email, and your books, you're sitting on the couch too much. But don't be fooled. Reading involves a ton of eye movement, and one app is on a mission to cut that out and turn you from human in repose to statue.

OK, maybe not, but the speed-reading app Spritz does get you through War and Peace faster by showing you one word at a time. "Reading is inherently time consuming because your eyes have to move from word to word and line to line," the company says on its website.

Advertisement

The idea of helping people read more quickly by displaying one word at a time isn't new. Apps like Velocity and Fast Reader have existed for years (not to mention the pre-smartphone work of Evelyn Wood). The difference is that Spritz centers words on a common point. The goal is that your brain will never be stimulated to request any eye movement whatsoever. Similar apps that show one word at a time keep the words generally centered on your screen, but don't pay as much attention to where the word should be, given its length or shape. Spritz also attempts to optimize for things like maximally legible font.

Spritz is available for license by other companies, like Samsung, which Spritz says will ship the Galaxy S5 and Gear2 with Spritz's email reader preinstalled. Samsung has not confirmed this yet, but the photos above seem to indicate that it's true. Spritz says that it is working on implementing its service for texting, social media, closed captioning, and ebooks and on smartwatches and smartphones, e-readers, and heads-up displays like the one in Google Glass. Now you really can read Dickens without batting an eye.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 2:05 PM Paul Farmer Says Up to Ninety Percent of Those Infected Should Survive Ebola. Is He Right?
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 22 2014 2:27 PM Facebook Made $595 Million in the U.K. Last Year. It Paid $0 in Taxes
  Life
The Eye
Oct. 22 2014 1:01 PM The Surprisingly Xenophobic Origins of Wonder Bread
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 10:00 AM On the Internet, Men Are Called Names. Women Are Stalked and Sexually Harassed.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 10:39 PM Avengers: Age of Ultron Looks Like a Fun, Sprawling, and Extremely Satisfying Sequel
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 2:59 PM Netizen Report: Twitter Users Under Fire in Mexico, Venezuela, Turkey
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.