Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘fixation point

Speed reading: How and what for?

Why would you care to speed read?

Would care reading an Entire Harry Potter Book In Under 90 Minutes?

Would feel happy if your adviser read your entire thesis in a few minutes?

Would feel happy if your publisher read your draft manuscript in 3 minutes?

Are you planing to become a politician and flip quickly through thick reports?

What speed reading gives you is a really high speed of word in-take. It doesn’t make the processing of those words any faster. It’s like connecting a huge data pipe to a 486 processor. (see note 1)

Apparently there is this App that will train you to speed read.

Alexis Kleinman posted in The Huffington Post this Feb. 27, 2014

Main Entry Image

To get through the book that quickly (a pace of 1,000 words a minute) you’ll have to use an about-to-be released app and forgo the idea of reading page by page.

With Spritz, which is coming to the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Gear 2 watch, words appear one at a time in rapid succession.

This allows you to read at speeds of between 250 and 1,000 words per minute. The typical college-level reader reads at a pace of between 200 and 400 a minute. (Even with a PhD degree and being a voracious reader, I don’t think that I enjoy reading faster than 100 words per minute)

Try reading this at 250 wpm:

Pretty easy, right? Now you can bump up the speed to 350 wpm:

After you have 350 wpm mastered, try 500 wpm below:

Spritz goes all the way up to 1,000 wpm, but there isn’t a visual for that yet.

Spritz isn’t the first to suggest reading one word at a time.

Apps like Velocity show the reader one word at a time in quick succession, allowing for much faster reading. And another speed reading method, works almost the same way: Rapid serial visual presentation, or RSVP, has been around for years and has proven to be successful for many.

The one-word-at-a-time technology is particularly good for smaller devices like smartphones and smartwatches. No more scrolling, zooming or pinching.

Boston-based Spritz, which says its been in Stealth Modefor nearly 3 years, is working on licensing its technology to software developers, ebook makers and even wearables.

Here’s a little bit more about how it works: In every word you read, there is an “Optimal Recognition Point” or ORP. This is also called a “fixation point.”

The “fixation point” in every word is generally immediately to the left of the middle of a word, explains Kevin Larson, of Microsoft’s Advanced Reading Technologies team.

As you read, your eyes hop from fixation point to fixation point, often skipping significantly shorter words.

“After your eyes find the ORP, your brain starts to process the meaning of the word that you’re viewing,” Spritz explains on its website.

Spritz indicates the ORP by making it red, and positions each word so that the ORP is at the same point, so your eyes don’t have to move. That’s what makes it different from RSVP speed reading, which just shows you words in rapid succession with no regard to the ORP.

Here’s a graphic that shows how Spritz keeps your eyes still while reading:

spritz reading

(In Spritz, the red characters are aligned vertically).

H/T viiviwagner on Imgur

Note 1: On February 13, 2006, Manish Bansal posted on Opinion

Why I don’t like speed reading.

Speed reading is a method of reading wherein you can achieve really high reading speeds using techniques like word assimilation, skimming, removing subvocalization and controlling eye movement etc.

Some people even claim to achieve reading speed of 1000 words per minutes, with 100% comprehension!

I am not a slow reader but, hell, who can resist 1000 wpm reading speeds?

So I tried this speed reading thing but couldn’t really see any real gains. My brain would hurt and I was not able to sleep at night after a speed reading session.

Here is why this thing doesn’t work.

What we call reading is actually made up of two parts – words in-take + processing.

What speed reading gives you is a really high speed of word in-take. It doesn’t make the processing of those words any faster. It’s like connecting a huge data pipe to a 486 processor.

The processor works at its own pace while the data sits there waiting to be processed. And that buffer storage space is limited. As long as the old data is there, you can’t do any more reading.

You can’t read physics faster and you don’t want to read novels faster. Kind of a lose-lose situation.

So you can either read slowly and process the data at the same time or cram in huge chunks of data into your buffer and let the brain do its thing at its own pace. I prefer the former method, at least for the joy of reading that it gives me.

Note 2: I have a few questions:

1. If the eyes don’t move, how can this method overlap to be able to view an entire scene (environment) better than ordinary persons or much quicker?

2. At least reading word by word is better than believing that you have read an entire page by letting your eyes roam vertically in the middle of the page.




June 2023

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