Spritz Reading App Not for Novels

Frank Waldman, the CEO and co-founder of Spritz, wants to change the we way we absorb information online.

Waldman is a serial entrepreneur who teamed up with consultant Maik Maurer to create a product that enables the fastest delivery system for content in an age where we consume so much on tiny-screen phones.

“We were looking for something that would evoke a spray of words,” Waldman told Business Insider when discussing the origins of the Spritz name.

The app enables readers to digest content at a rapid pace on a small screen. For example, you can read an entire novel in under 90 minutes.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/spritz-speed-reader-app-2014-3#ixzz2vNYJRcwE

Spritz manipulates the format of the words to more appropriately line them up with the eye’s natural motion of reading.

The “Optimal Recognition Point” (ORP) is slightly left of the center of each word, and is the precise point at which our brain deciphers each jumble of letters.

The unique aspect of Spritz is that it identifies the ORP of each word, makes that letter red and presents all of the ORPs at the same space on the screen.

In this way, our eyes don’t move at all as we see the words, and we can therefore process information instantaneously rather than spend time decoding each word.

 

xiSS8E7

oo2oOpm

For technical applications and for, say, work or school purposes, okay, maybe. Any way to get through a textbook faster is good. But for reading novels? To this I say, NO NO NO. NO. For me, a book is to be savored. I don’t go out and order my favorite food just to gobble it up as fast as I can and say, “Didn’t really taste, it. Didn’t really enjoy it. But I choked it down in record time!”

The placement of a word on a page, whether its a stand alone sentence or part of a larger paragraph, white spaces, specialized fonts, sections breaks, section indentations, my beloved ellipses… Those elements are just as important to the story as the words are. That’s what brings in pacing, tone, atmosphere, style. A good book is about so much more than just the words.

I also enjoy the hell out of turning a page, or even the electronic equivalent of swiping my finger across the screen. There’s a feeling of anticipation with each new page that adds to the tension of “What’s gonna happen next?” In the smallest of ways, it allows a reader to interact with the story. It allows us to engage rather than observe.

Fortunately, I think the application for this product is not intended for “recreational use.”  I think it’s designers see it as a way to gobble up online content– news articles, technical journals, e-mails, research, etc., in a more economical way.

I think I’m okay with that. But don’t expect me to Spritz the next installation of the Dresden Files. Harry Dresden is a man that deserves to be savored.

 

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Javier Garcia Rosell
    Mar 08, 2014 @ 14:31:46

    Love the idea, hope they made a version in blue instead of red (for color blind people like me)

    Reply

  2. chrispavesic
    Mar 08, 2014 @ 20:12:20

    This looks like wonderful technology for anything but novels, short stories, and so forth. I just imagined reading anything by Charles Dickens in this format and I shuddered! (And yes–Dresden needs to be appreciated page-by-page!)

    Reply

  3. squee1313
    Mar 08, 2014 @ 21:09:51

    Oh, yeah. I read Dresden as sloooowly as possible because I know it’s going to be forever before the next one comes out.

    Reply

  4. Widdershins
    Mar 08, 2014 @ 22:13:22

    Reading is one thing, which the examples you embedded showed is easily done, but comprehending? Or actually remembering what one just read… that’s a horse of an entirely different kettle of fish.

    … perhaps this is only about consuming words like one eats fairy floss at the fair.

    Reply

  5. Tonya R. Moore
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 02:33:38

    I could see myself using this app for research and sifting though mountains of information. Reading a novel though? Nah. If it comes to that I may as well not bother reading one at all.

    Reply

  6. Carla
    Mar 14, 2014 @ 18:22:42

    I would totally try it with a novel. I read so slow that I can’t read near as much as I want to. And to try it doesn’t mean that it will work for me. But, like everything else, I believe it takes time to adjust and learn a new skill. I think this falls under that category. For a long time I’ve wanted pages to go by my eyes at high speed because I truly believe this works. Thanks for all the effort that went into this product. I can hardly stand the wait for it. I’m onboard! 🙂

    Reply

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