Everywhere you look on the University of South Florida campus, people are reading their mobile devices.
Despite being a university with a lot of textbooks floating around, on one recent day we saw very few of them sitting open at the Marshall Student Center.
An app by Spritz that promises to speed up your reading could be what these students need.
“When we read our eyes move from side to side, and our brain processes the words that we see in that way,” said
David Leach, an eye doctor with Tampa Eye Clinic. By presenting a text in small sequences, “your eye doesn’t have to make those movements side to side.”
This, according to Spritz, allows you to read at speeds of between 250 and 1,000 words per minute. The typical college-level reader reads at a pace of between 200 and 400 words a minute. But does reading faster in this way improve or hinder your comprehension?
We asked USF graduate assistant Joe Grieco to test the technology with the idea of remembering some of the details. He had no problem reading or retaining information at 250 words per minute, but how about at 500?
Grieco said he could more easily retain information at that speed the more he grew used to it.
But, he said, he wouldn't want to read like that all the time.
The technology may be able to help patients with disorders like dyslexia, said Mike Shoneberg, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry.
“There are several different kinds of dyslexia, a number of which have to do with the recognition of words,” he said. “Others have to do with difficulty associating the letters with sounds. So two different problems, but I was wondering if there may be an application with individuals with dyslexia. It seems like very interesting technology.”
Spritz says the first use of the app will be implemented in an email application for the Samsung Gear 2 and Galaxy s5 smartphone.