With This App, You Can Speed-Read a 320-page Book in 2.5 Hours

Source: CollegeDegrees360 via Flickr

There's great news for the generation with the most rapidly shrinking attention spans in history (please keep reading)!

Spritz is a new speed reading technology that will help you read at a pace of up to 1,000 words per minute (for comparison, the average college-level reader clocks in at the positively sluglike pace of 200-400 wpm). One Imgur user did the math, and at just 500 wpm you could finish Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in about two and a half hours. Damn.

The text streaming technology is optimized for small screens and set to be released soon with the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Gear 2 watch (because you know you always wanted to finish an entire novel while staring at your wrist). It works by presenting just one word at a time, each aligned by its "Optimal Recognition Point" (aka the "ORP" or "fixation point," which is typically found just left of center in a word — but more that in a second). Give it a try:

This is 250 wpm:


350 wpm:


500 wpm:


1,000 wpm isn't available yet in GIF form, but you get the gist.

Spritz isn't the first speed reading technology to hit the market, but it's different from other rapid serial visual presentation (or RSVP) readers because it arranges words in a more readily comprehended way. Spritz's website explains, "After your eyes find the ORP, your brain starts to process the meaning of the word that you're viewing ... When reading, only around 20% of your time is spent processing content. The remaining 80% is spent physically moving your eyes from word to word and scanning for the next ORP."

Thus by aligning ORPs, Spritz speeds up comprehension considerably.

The experience takes some getting used to, of course, and you have to practice at each level before you get used to the speed. But it's still pretty amazing. Here's to never having to fake your way through a book club meeting (or class) again.