Speeder Reader: Drive your way to better reading skills

Evan Blass
E. Blass|03.09.06

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Evan Blass
March 9, 2006 11:29 AM
Speeder Reader: Drive your way to better reading skills

Who among us doesn't enjoy spending a lazy afternoon by sliding into the drivers seat, wrapping one hand around the wheel, the other around the stick, and settling in for an exhilarating...speed reading session? Well believe it or not, former Xerox PARCer Maribeth Back has found that using controls analogous to driving allows people to read on-screen text more than twice as fast as they could through traditional left-to-right scanning. Back presented the results of trials involving her reading-cum-driving simulator, the Speeder Reader, at this week's O'Reilly's Emerging Technology conference, where she described how streaming text to a fixed spot on the screen allows the reader to eliminate "white space" and ingest words more efficiently. A person "driving" the Java-powered Speeder Reader uses the gas pedal to adjust the pace of the word flow, the steering wheel to change "text lanes" (streaming sources) and the stick and several other buttons for more minor tweaks. Now this is a trend we like to see -- car sims for reading class, DDR action in gym -- pretty soon, kids may be able to play video games all day long in school just like they do all night at home.

[Via Cnet]
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