The idea of being able to consume written content faster is a very attractive one. There are plenty of services that try to scale down online articles to just their essential ideas like tldr.it. Also, there are aggregators and, of course, there is Twitter. EyeWeb, an upcoming iPhone app (that should see the light sometime this week) takes on the problem from the other side. It’s designed to make you read faster.
No, it’s not a strange iOS-scaled speed reading class. It’s just an iPhone web browser with a twist. What it does is load a page, then extract the text, and display it one word at a time, black on white, at the speed of your choice. The goal being to make you not only read very fast, but hopefully improve your speed over time. Here is a teaser:
I’ve been testing it sporadically over the last couple of days, and it is actually an interesting concept. It will, without a doubt, make you read pretty darn fast. But, you better have really good focus. Indeed, blinking is not an option when 500 words a minute are flashing in front of your eyes. Thank goodness for the paragraph breaks, which are marked by a pause, so you can let your mind breath. Of course, you can adjust the speed to your liking.
Its developer believes EyeWeb can potentially increase your reading speed from the average of 250 words per minute to 600. All this while actually improving your comprehension. Yes, that will take quite some practice.
Unfortunately, the underlying browser, which you’ll need to fight with to load your pages is very poor. It’s hard to enter an address (don’t forget http://) and it’s really slow. The interface is also a bit complicated.
The speed reading mode, which is the main feature of this app, is really worth checking out. Also, it will be free once released (it’s expected this Thursday), with a premium version available for $1.99.