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Spreed News [spreednews] is a new online user interface for desktops and mobile phones (think iPhone) for optimizing screen-based reading. Their algorithm parses text based on semantic and syntactic content to maximize contextual inference, and then renders the text in a way that virtually eliminates speed deterring eye movements. One can try out the interface for reading news, sports, gossip or blogs from various outlets.

For paper-based text, the average reading speed is about 210-250 words per minute (wpm). Eye movement research has established that reading a single page of text involves approximately 400-500 eye movements called 'saccades'. It has also been established that there is no information perceived during the eye movement, only in the brief fixation on a word or group of words. Saccades therefore slow down reading speed. Other studies have shown that this speed degrades by approximately 28% when reading directly from a PC screen. The Spreed application claims to allow the reading of text from screens comfortably, and with no loss of comprehension, at 350 wpm.

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6 COMMENTS

i remember 10 years ago, when the internet was "new," i saw a reader program like this on the web (done in java i believe). however, it was much better, and faster. it would only show one word at a time, but the pacing of the words naturally fit each word as if you were reading a line, not some staccato constant robotic pace like this site. i dont know whatever happened to it, but it was clear - it should have become a real product as it was brilliant.

Thu 05 Feb 2009 at 5:53 AM

There is already an easy online script (http://zapreader.com/reader/) which do the same work easier online. Grouping words is not a good idea I think, because you still need to move your eyes on words in the group. Although serving words one by one allow higher frequency..

Wed 11 Feb 2009 at 8:53 AM
myneur

Zapreader is useless. It only flashes 1 word at a time. Read the research. That is in inefficient way to read. I too was sceptical however the more I have used "Spreed", the faster I have been able to read and retain what I read

Sun 15 Mar 2009 at 9:41 AM
PV

Honestly Spreed is the stupidest idea I've encountered. I've met with Anthony. He is a horrible bullshitter. He said a couple strange things, then denied he said them 10 seconds later. The meeting didn't go well. We won't be contacting them. I waste too much time on people like Anthony.

Fri 15 May 2009 at 6:39 AM
Murray Robredo

Myneur: Your mistaken that that there's a need to "move your eyes". We restrict the characters in order to keep the phrase within the parafoveal vision.
PS: I believe any testing will demonstrate that a constant"pacing of the words" will be more effective than a changing pace as you descirbe.
PV: Kind words, but Zapreader isn't useless. It is a take off of RSVP technology (rapid serial visualization protocol) developed as early as the 19070s. We have made significant changes to that technology and have shown marked improvements to what anyone has accomplished in terms of reading speeds.
Murray Robredo: If this is your real name I'm certain we've never met, which means this is libelous garbage and a waste of everybody's time. If I'm wrong, I'm happy to challenge you to prove otherwise. If we have met, please let us know your real name and I'm happy to discuss/debate the merits of our technology (which, by the way, we don't think is the be all end all - we merely think we've made nice advancements here and have a significant cadre of users who have told us they like it without opting to use nom de plumes).

Sat 22 Aug 2009 at 11:56 AM

Agreed with PV I like "spreed" and I use it to read medium sized articles. But you lose your "speed reading ability" if you don't have the program. So if you don't have a computer its useless. It's the same technology that psychologist and the Air Force have been using for years. They found that post-course timings diminished rapidly. If you want to use speed reading at a library or bookstore you can always learn how to speed read. Try a speed reading course, theres one online http://www.revitupreading.com Worked well for me.

Sun 04 Oct 2009 at 11:31 AM
Jon
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