Each semester, students read hundreds of page of textbooks, essays and other class material. Students can now breath a sigh of relief as one company has set out to make reading more of a breeze.
Spritz, a brand-new computer application that boosts reading speeds from 300 to 600 words per minute, rolled out their first release in late March.
BYU students are excited about the technology’s capability to revolutionize study habits and increase comprehension over traditional skimming methods in accessing information from textbooks.
Spritz can help students read an entire book in 90 minutes. The program rapidly flashes one word at a time on a reader’s cell phone or digital device at speeds of up to 1,000 words per minute.
Spritz increases reading comprehension by aligning each word around a consistent location known as the optimal recognition point.
“It makes communication faster and easier by removing the inefficient eye movements associated with traditional reading,” said Krystina Puleo, a spokeswoman for Spritz Inc.
The technology’s release last month generated significant attention on news outlets and in the social media world.
“Over 25,000 developers have submitted applications to access the SDK and integrate Spritz into their own technology,” Puleo said.
BYU student Josh Woods believes the technology may revolutionize how people communicate and consume information.
“I tried all the samples I could find,” Woods said. “It’s really useful to read things quickly.”
Woods, a senior majoring in chemistry and Russian, even tried using his foreign language skills on the program.
“I tried a Russian and also a German sample,” Woods said. “I had to slow down my comprehension speed to 300 words per minute.”
The program compacts large amounts of information to the small smart phone screens and cellular phones used today.
“As smart devices continue to change shape and become increasingly smaller, Spritz enables users to read comfortably and conveniently,” said company CEO Frank Waldman in a press release.
That convenience in reading is exactly what students are looking for.
Austin Ballard, an English major and tutor at the BYU Writing Center, estimates he reads only a fraction of what is assigned in class.
“I don’t read everything because I have so much to do,” Ballard said.
But Ballard believes the technology could help improve his study habits.
“If I could whip through 10 pages in 10 minutes, I’d be more likely to make the effort to read,” he said.
Ballard said the the technology could be helpful for students working to crank out a last-minute research paper or assignment.
“If Spritz helps with comprehension, it could help with the proof-reading process,” he said.
Other students are more skeptical.
“I feel like I’m a pretty fast reader already,” said Brad Horman, 23, of Salt Lake City.
A junior majoring in actuary science, Horman estimates that he spends roughly an hour a day reading homework assignments.
“It’s less a matter of time and more of making it a priority,” he said.
The company, originally based in Boston, has offices in in Utah and Munich, Germany. They are currently hiring developers and computer programers to help roll out Spritz applications from their office in Salt Lake City.
The company’s official launch in March and the wave of positive publicity it generated may have a dramatic impact on the digital reading market.
The Spritz release has made a big splash in corporations, media outlets and blogs around the world. Perhaps it’s ready to slip into BYU’s study habits as well.
The new technology, which promises to revolutionize how quickly readers can plough through material, can be at accessed at www.spritzinc.com.