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New app aims to revolutionize reading

A new app that allows people to read faster and with greater comprehension has been unveiled by Boston-based startup Spritz at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

Using a method called rapid serial visual presentation, Spritz (opens in new tab) claims to be able to teach users how to double their reading speed within five minutes of using the app.

The technique works by presenting a body of text one word at a time around a fixed focal position at a predetermined speed.

"Reading is inherently time consuming because your eyes have to move from word to word and line to line," the website states. "(Using Spritz) your eyes do not have to move from word to word or around the page that you're reading.

"In fact, there's no longer a page – with Spritz you only need 13 total characters to show all of your content."

The technology could prove to be most useful on devices with screens too small to accommodate large amounts of text, such as smart watches or smart glasses.

At MWC (opens in new tab) this week, Spritz partnered with Samsung on the Gear 2 smartwatch and the Galaxy S5 smartphone to show off its new way of reading.

"Traditional reading consumes huge amounts of physical space on a page or screen, which limits reading effectiveness on small displays," the company claims. "Scrolling, pinching, and resizing a reading area doesn't fix the problem and only frustrates people."

Spritz aims to have 15 per cent of the world's textual content read using its method by 2016.

It is currently only available for Android and iOS devices but Spritz is seeking developers to help make the software more widely available.