Readership levels across the United States are trending downward year over year and this phenomenon doesn’t show signs of slowing anytime soon. In fact, 23% of Americans did not read a book in the past year, compared to just 8% in 1978. And with lack of time being named as one of the main culprits for declining reading rates, a tool that promises to double the reading speed of the average person might just be the secret to getting more people to turn off the TV and open up their eReader.
That promise is already being made by Boston startup Spritz. “Reading reimagined,” is the company’s motto, and efficiency is its MO. By reorganizing the way words in a sentence are presented to us, Spritz claims that it can double the words per minute rate of the average reader, and even allows for some individuals to read up to 1000 words in just 60 seconds.
How does it work?
The Spritz application uses text-streaming technology and emphasises the “Optimal Recognition Point” or ORP to effectuate faster reading speeds.
According to Spritz, only 20% of your time is spent processing content when reading. The remaining 80% of the time is spent moving your eyes throughout the text. By allowing your eyes to remain fixed on one particular point while words flash across that point one-by-one, the time wasted on scanning text is significantly reduced.
Additionally, Spritz optimizes the reading process by identifying and emphasizing the ORP in its text-streaming tool. Spritz does not place words in its text box so that the natural midpoint of the word is at the center. Instead, that honor goes to the ORP, which is also highlighted in red, further reducing the time wasted on eye movement.
Some users have reached rates of 1000 word per minute using Spritz and passed non-multiple choice reading comprehension tests based on the content they read at that speed.
What can be spritzed?
The range of texts that can be “spritzed” is wide. Email, text messages, and chats can be spritzed, as can closed captioning and digital books. In fact, Spritz can be directly embedded into various forms of media like photos, maps, and videos. Smartwatches, mobile phones, and eReaders are also Spritz-friendly.
The company is currently working on embedding its spritzing tool into Facebook and other social media sites.
Where can I find it?
Spritz is not yet available but the company is working with content providers, mobile device manufacturers, educational software developers, web portals, wearable manufacturers, e-book companies, and several others on Spritz integration and licensing deals. In fact, Samsung’s S5 phone and Gear2 smartwatch, both with release dates set for this April, will ship with Spritz pre-installed, providing Samsung users with a streamlined email and text message reading experience.
About Spritz, Inc.
Boston-based Spritz is led by a team of serial entrepreneurs and technologists comprised of Frank Waldman, Mark Maurer, and Jamie Locke. CEO and co-founder Waldman previously founded Aura Communications (acquired by Avaya), FabConnect (acquired by Eigner), Trexel, and Lattix. Co-founder and CTO Maurer is a scientist affiliated with the Technical University of Munich, while VP of Operations Locke has managed projects for DealDeal.com and Sorenson Communications.
The Spritz team includes number of talented developers and consultants based in Salt Lake City and Munich who are working on making Spritz available across a number of platforms and operating systems including iOS, Android, and Microsoft. Spritz also works with reading experts from around the world who specialize in reading optimization.