We are all aware that wearables are becoming more and more popular in the U.S. and in the world as well. The Samsung Gear S is one of the most anticipated smartwatches of this Fall and is set for a November release date. While you might think of the Gear S as too small to be reading articles on, you should consider an alternative form of reading. Spritz has partnered up with Samsung, the Financial Times, Engadget, Thomson Reuters, Süddeutsche and more to introduce Gear S users to a new way of reading things on a wearable device.
While the Gear S will be among the first smartwatches with their own Wi-Fi and 3G connections, some of you will surely leave your phones at home in favor of the timepiece. Most people are rather interested in reading the news, or following their favorite websites on an hourly basis. I’m one of those people who would really love the Gear S because it would let me be up to date with my favorite news outlets even if I don’t have my phone around. Before, I had thought that reading large amounts of text on the Gear S would be at least difficult, but Spritz, a startup that has been making apps for avid readers, has brought its services to the Gear S.
If you’re not familiar with Spritz, you should check out their website and get Spritzlet to see what the clever little app can do for you. Essentially, Spritz is a platform that aims to help readers read faster and better with a new reading concept. What Spritz does, and will be doing on the Gear S if you choose to read the publications that have partnered with the Startup, is that it will let your read any kind of text word for word. On the Gear S, words of an article will be scrolled in front of you, with their ORP or optimal recognition point highlighted. That will allow Spritz to help you read faster and comprehend what you are reading better. It’s actually a pretty neat application. You can read as fast as you want, Spritz letting you set reading speeds according to words per minute.
On the Gear S, Spritz will display each word separately, in the middle of the timepiece, so you can read the things you are interested in comfortably and fast. Each publisher that has partnered with Spritz will be making content available for Gear S users. You will only have to install the publisher application and Spritz will do its job from their. You will be able to browse all their stories and spritz each of them. Within the Gear S apps, Spritz will also include icons if there are pictures in an article you are reading, so you can enjoy the full reading experience.
I have had a talk with Jamie Locke, Chief Innovation Officer at Spritz Inc, and he has told me that Spritz is constantly developing and the Gear S is just a first step in its bright future. According to Jamie, the Spritz platform will be constantly updated in the future with new features and customizable interfaces so that any kind of users will be able to benefit from Spritz. With Spritz on the Gear S, other wearables, or in your browser, you will be able to train your eyes and your brain to read faster and actually comprehend better. I’ve tried it myself, and even though I didn’t manage to pass the 300 wpm (words per minute) mark, I did level up from just 250 wpm. It’s a great experience and really helps me read faster without being distracted. Spritz does have a shortcoming, though, but it only involves people with poor eyesight or wearing glasses, like me. After about an hour of spritzing, my eyes get tired and they seem to defocus after turning Spritz off. That shouldn’t be an issue in the future, though, because Jamie says that an update to the Spritz platform will be coming sometime in December. The update, which will go out to the Gear S, too, will make the app customizable so users will be able to change fonts, backgrounds, app size and text color.
Jamie Locke works closely with the Spritz engineering team and product managers and the team will be releasing the Spritz update to the Gear S as well as other platforms. The update will bring new user-requested features, increased customizability, a host of new partners, support for large .pdf files and more. Spritz is working on entering partnerships with Google Newsstand, Samsung Magazine, various cloud services, Microsoft platforms, Android Wear and various publishers. Jamie says that Spritz is aiming to become the go-to reading tool in the future, and I agree that the app is very useful and should get all the attention it deserves. Spritz is also going to work on an Apple Watch app as soon as the Apple WatchKit arrives, so we are curious to see that next year.
If you want to use Spritz, and you should at least try it, you can use it on most web browsers, including Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer. If you are a developer and want to implement Spritz technology, it’s free for you to use because Spritz has made the tech available through its SDK. Jamie says that Spritz will hopefully be introduced to many new platforms and hopes to be used by all avid readers. While reading on wearables like the Gear S seems cumbersome, Spritz could be the perfect way to keep in touch with the world in a fast and simple way. Readsie and Boopsie already use Spritz technology online and on library platforms, and they have got great user feedback from readers, students and teachers, as well. According to Jamie, requests for new Spritz features and support are pouring in and the platform is getting more and more popular each day.
Jamie Locke and co. also sent some exclusive photos of Spritz running within the FastFT app on the Gear S, for you guys. As you can see above, Spritz will show display words one by one, focusing on the middle of the word (ORP) so that you can easily recognize the word and don’t even have to read it completely in order to understand its meaning. You can read articles and whole books on the Gear S with the help of Spritz, which should make for a less boring commute. We can’t wait to experience Spritz and the Gear S hands-on next month. We are sure that the new pair will make for an interesting reading experience and might urge more people to consume news, media and literature more often, even on their smartwatches.
The Gear S has been announced for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile as well as Verizon Wireless, although a price hasn’t been set yet. The Gear S has a 2 inch screen with a 360*480 Super AMOLED display, powered by a 1 GHz dual core CPU, backed by 512 MB RAM and 4 GB internal storage. The Gear S supports 2G, 3G, Bluetooth and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. A 300 mAH battery will be providing the juice for the Gear S, said to last for up to two days on a single charge. The Gear S runs on Tizen, so there won’t be as many apps as on Android Wear smartwatches, but Spritz has been added and more are certain to come. Thanks go out to Jamie Locke and Spritz Inc for providing the photos as well as the new information about Spritz and how it can improve our reading skills. We hope to see Spritz on more devices and in more apps in the future!