News & Insights

New app enables everyone to read like Short Circuit’s Johnny 5


In the age of consuming smaller and smaller bites of information (140 characters, anyone?), will a new speed-reading app boost our ability to read larger literary masterpieces in a time-crunched world?

The Huffington Post recently shared news of a new app in development by Boston-based software developer Spritz which aims to enhance your reading speed by using your “Optimal Recognition Point” (ORP).

It works by detecting and moving the words to more appropriately line up with the eye’s natural reading motion. The ORP is just left of the centre of each word and is the best point for our brains to decipher each word at a glance – much in the same way that our brain can recognise jumbled words as long as the first and last letter is in its correct position.

The simulator on Spritz’ website will demonstrate reading speeds of anywhere from 250 to 600 words per minute which we found attainable with relaxed, but steady concentration.

Our only worry is that you’d have to be in a completely distraction-free zone to hit the massive 600-word per minute reading rate, which is clearly possible, or else you’ll end up sentences down the line.

As the developers hint, the technology could make it very easy to consume engaging text anywhere – even from your inevitable smart watch – without the need to scroll, pinch or flick. Emails caught up on in seconds and blog posts in less than a minute.

The news and possibilities have clearly captivated readers the world over, with Elite Daily’s reproduction of the story amassing over half a million Facebook likes.

Tolstoy at 600 WPM though… maybe not.

Will Spritz change the way you read? Let us know what you think by tweeting @TechAndSport


Sarah Byles is Sine Qua Non’s newest recruit. The 24-year-old New Zealander is obsessed with coffee, rallying, the correct pronunciation of Hyundai and cleverly-utilised Twitter accounts. Follow her on Twitter @sarahbyles