Spritz Wants to Change How You Read

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

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

Even if You Don’t Like Batman, You Might Like Gotham

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Nicolas Sarkozy, Thrice Married, Says Gay Marriage Humiliates the Family

  News & Politics
Over There
Sept. 22 2014 1:29 PM “That’s Called Jim Crow” Philip Gourevitch on America’s hypocritical interventions in Africa.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 1:37 PM Subprime Loans Are Back! And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.
  Life
Outward
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 22 2014 4:06 PM No, Women’s Soccer Does Not Have a Domestic Violence Problem Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 3:16 PM Watch the Best Part of Beyoncé and Jay Z’s On the Run Tour
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 12:14 PM Family Court Rules That You Can Serve Someone With Legal Papers Over Facebook
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.