Need help? Call us 0800 032 9366
Could this app allow you to read War and Peace in a day

Could this app allow you to read War and Peace in a day?

Tuesday 11 March 2014

A new app called Spritz claims to be able to increase users’ reading speed to as much as 1,000 words a minute. Will it revolutionise how we read?

Spritz, a new speed-reading app, claims to allow users to take in up to 1,000 words per minute – more than three times as much as the average adult reading speed of 300 words a minute.

The programme, which will come preinstalled on Samsung devices, works by flashing up words one at a time, with one of the letters in each word shown in red.

Spritz’s Boston-based developers say the red letter focuses the readers’ eyes on “Optimal Recognition Point” (ORP) in each word, allowing them to take in its meaning as quickly as possible.

Samples on a website showcasing the app allow users to read phrases at speeds between 250 and 600 words per minute in languages including French, Russian, German and Spanish as well as English.

“When reading, only around 20% of your time is spent processing content,” the creators explain. “The remaining 80% is spent physically moving your eyes from word to word and scanning for the next ORP. With Spritz we help you get all that time back.”

They suggest the technology would be particularly useful for people who spend much of their time at work reading emails. While there is no launch date for iPhone or Android apps, the company says it is in negotiations to bring Spritz to as wide an audience as possible.

Its creators also claim to be working with “some pretty big players” in the field of digital books, and say it will soon be possible for readers to digest weighty tomes in a matter of hours. At around 560,000 in the English translation, it would take readers under 10 hours to plough through the whole of War and Peace at the app’s top speed without breaks. Greg Tyndall, head of speed reading at the corporate training company GA training, said it was a “natty tool” but suggested it was unlikely the app would revolutionise reading beyond emails and shorter reports.

“I think it could be incredible for people who need to speed-read documents quickly, but it doesn't give you techniques you can use offline at all – and sometimes we do still need to read a hard copy,” he said.

“You can’t take notes because you can’t take your eyes off the screen, but it would be good for getting an overview of a document.” So will Tolstoy’s masterpiece not be brought to a whole new, time-poor audience? “I can imagine maybe 10 per cent of people wanting to use this to read for pleasure," Tyndall said. “But the War and Peace thing is the biggest cliché there is. You don’t learn to speed-read so you can get through that quickly.”


  1. Telegraph:
    Read in an instant.


Literary News

◄ Blog Home

Subscribe to our email newsletter and claim your FREE copy of our popular guide '9 Top Tips to Save Your Sight'


Post a comment…