The BBC is experimenting with a new way to keep up with the news using speed-reading technology from Spritz. Spritz was founded in 2011, and is available in various forms as browser plugins and mobile apps, but this is the first time it’s partnered with a major news publisher,
Spritz estimates that moving your eyes left to right takes up 80% of your time when you read. Its software takes news stories and presents them one word at a time in rapid succession so your eyes stay in one fixed position.
One letter in each word is highlighted red to draw your attention. According to Spritz, this letter is the ‘optimal recognition point’, and once you’ve spotted it, your brain can begin processing the word and putting it in context.
Not only does this help you digest words more quickly, it also uses far less screen space than ordinary text, making it ideal for use on phones and smart watches.
Speed-reading won’t be appearing on the BBC’s website any time soon, but it’s the latest in a long line of tech industry partnerships that explore fun and innovative ways to reach its readers and viewers.
Past experiments have included ‘mind control‘ for the BBC’s iPlayer app, which enabled viewer to choose TV shows using a brainwave-reading headset, and ‘holographic TV‘, which used a flat-screen television to project 3D images into a clear acrylic pyramid.