2 min read

A surfeit of speed reading apps were released a few years back for computers and smartphones. Now, the BBC has teamed up with a start-up called Spritz to experiment with speed reading on smart watches. Spritz was founded in 2011 and displays one word at a time on your screen.

The average human reading speed is 200 wpm (words per minute). With the plethora of information being in circulation nowadays, it is a task to read and keep up. To top this, people read most of their news on smartphones which is already smaller than what our evolution is accustomed to; newspapers and books.

What’s the fuss with speed reading?

Speed reading displays one single word at a time on the screen. One of the letters on the screen is highlighted and believed to be the focus point of that word. The word present on screen changes with variable speeds. As a result, the time taken to move your eyes across words is eliminated which increases the reading speed.

The BBC is looking to get this idea in action with smart watches. Imagine reading a whole news article much faster than your average speed without even taking out your smartphone. The BBC Blog states: “Sherlock Holmes and Spock from Star Trek might be fictional characters, but the idea of having a superhuman ability to process information quickly is an exciting one.

BBC’s take on speed reading

Cyrus Saihan, Head of Digital Partnerships, BBC states in the Blog:
We are reading more and more on mobile phones, but the screen sizes and text sizes of mobiles are smaller than what we have traditionally been used to with books and magazines. Technologies such as this therefore have the potential to make it much easier for us to read on mobile phones. This way of reading could also possibly be useful on devices such as smart watches, which have even smaller screen sizes.

The demonstration videos from the Blog display the method being used on BBC articles at 300, 400, and 800 wpm. It takes some time to get used to but once you do, you can read at much faster speeds. It gets relatively easy after reading a couple articles in this method.

This is still in the internal testing phase and BBC isn’t planning on rolling it out anytime soon.  It sure is an interesting idea that can potentially save us time on reading every day.

For more information and examples, head on to the BBC website.

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Data science enthusiast. Cycling, music, food, movies. Likes FPS and strategy games.


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