Instantly Speed Read with New Spritz App

The new Spritz app, which will be available through Samsung’s Gear 2 smartwatch and the Galaxy S5 smartphone, will supposedly enable users to read up to 1,000 words per minute (almost five times the average reading speed of 220 words per minute).

So, how does it work?

Although other similar apps have attempted to make speed reading a reality for the general public, the Spritz app (or just “Spritz”) optimizes the format utilized by previous attempts by incorporating some new principles.  The original concept of any speed reading app is that each word is fed to the reader one by one on the screen, eliminating the time that it takes to read a page from side to side (or in the cases of other languages, up and down).  It may not seem so, but this time really does add up.  What sets Spritz apart from the rest is the concept of the Optimal Recognition Point of each word (ORP).  The ORP of a word is the point that the eye seeks out before processing and decoding of the word begins.  Once the meaning and context of the word are recognized, the eye moves onto the next word and continues the process.  According to the company’s website, “Only around 20% of your time [reading] is spent processing content. The remaining 80% is spent physically moving your eyes from word to word and scanning for the next ORP.”  Taking this into account, the developers of the Spritz app have highlighted the ORP of each word in red, eliminating that extra step it takes for the brain to identify it.  The ORP is typically a letter that is just left from center of the word.

But you needn’t take their word for it.  You can put the app to the test right on the company’s website.  The sample on the site seems to only go up to 600 words per minute, while the app itself will allegedly go up to 1,000 wpm.

So what can “Spritzing” be used for?  The claim that has gone viral since the initial announcement is that with this app, one could “read a novel in less than 90 minutes.”  However, it will have to be up to the reader to decide if this is something that he or she would really like to do.  There will be critics who argue that Spritz should be reserved for reading magazine articles, web content on news sites or social media, and other “casual” reading.  Spritzing might not be quite so effective when attempting to read a digital copy of a textbook for one’s college course, for instance, if the text is arduous enough that one might want to pause every now and then to look up a word or study a diagram.  Additionally, someone who has decided to sit back and relax with a cup of hot chocolate and a copy of Anna Karenina might not be looking to zip through it in three hours, but rather take the time to really absorb Leo Tolstoy’s prose.  However, it can definitely be useful for anyone looking to read anything at a much quicker pace.

Maybe you don’t really want to start reading Classic novels at breakneck speeds.  But just for fun, here’s a list of a few Classic novels with their word count and an approximation of how long it would take to read them with and without Spritz.

 

Novel & Author

Word Count

Average Reading Pace (220/wpm)

Maximum Spritz Reading Pace (1,000/wpm)

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

561,996

42 hours and 35 minutes

9 hours and 22 minutes

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

61,922

4 hours and 41 minutes

1 hour and 2 minutes

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

211,591

16 hours and 2 minutes

3 hours and 32 minutes

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

73,404

5 hours and 34 minutes

1 hour and  13 minutes

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

208,773

15 hours and 49 minutes

3 hours and 29 minutes

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

49,459

3 hours and 45 minutes

49 minutes

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

63,604

4 hours and 49 minutes

1 hour and 4 minutes

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

135,420

10 hours and 16 minutes

2 hours and 15 minutes

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

587,287

44 hours and 29 minutes

9 hours and 47 minutes

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

46,118

3 hours and 30 minutes

46 minutes

 

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