Reading App Lets You Blaze Through 1,000 Words-per-Minute

Alex Co

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Dec 11, 2013
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Reading App Lets You Blaze Through 1,000 Words-per-Minute



Personally, I'm all for making people read faster. Hopefully, continually using the app won't make anyone feel dizzy or even nauseous. Can you imagine "spritzing" instead of reading or would you rather take your time when reading something?

Source: NeoGAF [http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2454703,00.asp]


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Bazaalmon

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Apr 19, 2009
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This looks pretty cool, although I'm wondering how much of a headache extended use will induce. I like reading before bed as a way to wind down at the end of the day, but I wonder if the fast pace will prevent that somehow. Still, something to keep an eye on.
 

Thaluikhain

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Jan 16, 2010
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I don't believe it'll get you to be able to read 1,000 words a minute (at least not without extensive training), but there does seem to be a remarkable opportunity there.

...

Unless you end up missing words, and having to stop and rewind all the time.
 

nevarran

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Apr 6, 2010
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Looks like an interesting software. I like my slow reading tho', blazing through a good book is the last thing that comes to my mind when reading.
 

omega 616

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May 1, 2009
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I don't know, just with that little gif reading 500 WPM is tricky, that might be 'cos it's new to me but doubling that speed?

Be reading like fucking Johnny 5! I just don't think the brain can be really absorbing that many words, that quickly! You know like when you read a line like 20 times but still have fuck all clue what the 20 lines say.
 

GabeZhul

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Mar 8, 2012
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I would have called bullshit on this if there wasn't that little demonstration in there, which I admit shocked me a bit. It works, though I still have three problems with it:

I can't help but wonder how much eyestrain this would cause on the long run since staring at one point, while obviously cuts down on the wasted time of eye-movement, would probably tire out one's eyes faster than skimming through the pages.

Secondly, I can pretty much already read about 500 words per minute in the "old fashioned way" if I strain myself a little, but at that point I already notice myself slipping and my reading comprehension getting worse and worse with every sentence. Our human brain, and our short-term memory in particular, is just not made for this kind of high-speed retention, and while I think slowly cranking up the speed with a program like this could help with conditioning to achieve better retention rates, I wouldn't hold my breath for the results.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, it think this technology would be the least useful at the most time-consuming texts, such as scientific/legal/technical literature and novels. In the case of the former, actually understanding the text is a lot more important than being able to power-read through it, while in the case of the latter being able to read on your own pace and taking your time to imagine the scenes and act them out in your head is pretty much the point of the entire reading experience, something you cannot do on a "250-1000 words per minute" rate.

That said, I do think this tech has merits and many people will probably find good use for it, but I would take some of its claims about reading comprehension and that "1000 words per minute" claim with a pinch of salt for now.
 

Eddie451

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Apr 4, 2010
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This would probably work great... until you try to read any fantasy novels filled with bullshit names that already screw with my head. Seeing them flash by in a nanosecond will destroy me.
 

erbkaiser

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Jun 20, 2009
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So judging by the GIF, I can easily do 500 words/minute already.
I've gotta wonder how much of it I could remember if this was something actually interesting though.
 

Evil Moo

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Feb 26, 2011
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I'm seeing some flaws with the example shown above. Mostly that I keep missing small words that appear after big ones for some reason. I can never actually see the word between 'understand' and 'remember'. It is pretty easy to guess the word given the context, but it would still be nice to see it and not make my brain do more work filling in the gaps. Seems like something they should factor into the timings somehow.
 

synobal

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Jun 8, 2011
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It's important to remember that "Reading" comprehending, and enjoying are all separate from each other. I can read well over 500 WPM easily but it isn't enjoyable to do so.
 

fluxy100

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May 22, 2010
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While this reading thing is cool it brings up the question, can the human mind visualize a book or its characters at 1000 words per minute? I don't think I can and at that point it's just like gulping down food and not even tasting it.
 

CrimsonBlack

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Mar 10, 2011
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rhizhim said:
this app is genius if you wish to learn how to read faster.
maybe it could be implemented for an online encylopedia so you would get the info fast when you need it.

but replace common reading methods for books? no.

because sometimes a book is so damn good that you have to read the whole chapter or page again just to confirm that "THAT" actually happened in the story.

as for the example.

i managed to read every word up to 500wps.
after that (550-600wps) i overly understood it because my brain filled the smaller words that i didnt get or skipped automatically for me.


brain, you autocomplete me!
I found that if you glimpse away from the reticle for even a second, you can miss words. In easy sentences like the demonstration, that's fine. Someone has already pointed out that for jargon-heavy texts like scientific articles it might actually cloud comprehension. It's great that I could potentially gallop through one, but I need to come to an understanding of it rather than simply blurt out what I can remember reading.

Also, I'm a technophile but I have never gotten into e-readers. I've tried, but I just prefer the heft and texture of a novel - not to mention the pleasure gained turning the pages and following a good plot. If I'm reading Lord of the Rings I don't want to blaze through it, you need to stop and imagine things, take in descriptions, feel them feelings!

ThreeRingsfortheElven-kingsunderthesky, SevenfortheDwarf-lordsintheirhallsofstone, NineforMortalMendoomedtodie, Oneforthe DarkLordonhisdarkthrone IntheLandofMordorwheretheShadowslie. OneRingtorulethemall, OneRingtofindthem, OneRingtobringthemallandinthedarknessbindthem IntheLandofMordorwheretheShadowslie.

It would completely break the cadence and rhythm of poetry and verse, too. Imagine reading Shakespeare at that speed!
 

Victim of Progress

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Jul 11, 2011
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I'm quite interested in this app. To me reading a book is like looking at the sun, the quicker you finish it the better. And I never-ever "visualized" something while reading. So this might be a very efficient way for me to read large amounts of material.
 

ThePuzzldPirate

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Oct 4, 2009
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This is actually pretty cool though I don't think it would work for me. Without having a whole page to look at for referencing, I think I would miss a lot of context.
 

erbkaiser

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Jun 20, 2009
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I wonder how much you'd miss by blinking. People (that are not the overly attached girlfriend) blink constantly, so I think you'd be missing a lot of words using this app. Would you even notice?
 

kanetsb

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Sep 13, 2007
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erbkaiser said:
I wonder how much you'd miss by blinking. People (that are not the overly attached girlfriend) blink constantly, so I think you'd be missing a lot of words using this app. Would you even notice?
Try the chrome plugin... :) ~600 you do not notice the losses, but if something's "not right", you can press the left arrow to rewind the text a bit. Also, the space bar stops it.

Use the plugin on a book written in my native language. Was able to read at ~600 WPM and actually fully understand the text (which is >twice my normal speed). This is a truly outstanding idea here! I wish someone actually writes a proper tablet app for this. The chrome plugin doesn't work with tablets/phones and there seems to be some licensing BS going on... :( Thanks corporates...
 

ThreeKneeNick

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Aug 4, 2009
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This Chrome extention you linked is nifty, I've been reading the comments with it. Does feel fast, but it's a little ... bland? Like all the emotion is gone and it's just ... words ... going really fast. Maybe it needs some training.
 

Living_Brain

When in doubt, overclock
Feb 8, 2012
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So I've taken another test, just reading in the normal fashion, and got 600 wpm. Unfortunately the demo on their site only goes to 600 wpm , so I can't learn anything from that :/
 

srpilha

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Dec 24, 2008
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One more here to find this pretty nice and exciting for a big set of texts (if not all). I did miss a few words due to blinking already at 500 wpm, at 600 it started to become a problem.

Nothing a "Clockwork Orange"-like device wouldn't help. ;)