As online content continues to be increasingly consumed through mobile platforms, it’s no wonder we’re seeing new formats to deliver information more quickly and fluidly. In the past, we’ve seen Wibbitz present any news story as a visual and dynamic infographic instead of plain old text. But now Spritz believes that humans can read much faster using its system of ‘streaming’ text at up to 600 words per minute.
Developed for smartphones and watches, the company has spent the last three years researching and trialling its system of what it calls ‘text streaming’. Based on the theory that most readers are slowed down in the information intake by the movements of the eye as it scans lines of text, Spritz squeezes entire novels into a small, 300 pixel-wide space and instead flashes each word for a brief fraction of a second. According to the developers, each word has an ‘optimal recognition point’ — a letter that the eye searches for once it’s jumped to that word in traditional text — and Spritz aligns all of its words around that letter, so it’s in the same place each time.
The system, which can be trialled on the Spritz homepage, offers different speeds according to the abilities of each user. This is 250 words per minute:
This is 350 words per minute:
This is 500 words per minute:
While the system may seem overwhelming at first, those who master the higher speeds could boost their productivity immensely. Spritz is currently working to bring the technology to Samsung smartphones and its Galaxy Gear range, although a standalone app for other devices may not appear for a while yet. Are there other ways to reformat text for the web?