A few years ago no one would even think of it: reading a book one word at a time, without actually moving the eyeballs.
Now, this idea is not one of the future technologies to observe. It exists, doing well, and having serious chances to enter digital reading.
First, take Spritz, a text-streaming technology that does just that: displays one word at a time, and lets control the speed of how words are changed. Spritz is meant to be used by developers, in mobile apps or online. You can imagine we don’t have to wait for a long time to have a plenty of one-word-at-a-time reading apps.
ReadQuick displays the articles of your choice one word at a time at a pace you set. It is the only app that teaches you how to speed read while getting through your daily reading.
Oh, good old book page. A promise of a next exciting one minute of reading. A great feeling before fixing the eyes on the first word in the top left corner.
Seriously, the book page, and values it conveys, is at risk of getting outdated. The benefit the new technology offers is simple: increasing reading speed. I bet many people would sacrifice the old way of reading just to be able to swallow more information in less time.
Now, with Spritz and alike it’s easy to imagine reading on the Google Glass (and active contact lenses in the longer run). It’s not something crazy to imagine a smart Spritz-based reading app sitting on Google Glass by default at the time the gizmo will be launched for mainstream users.
However, there are some technical issues to fix. For instance, how to highlight the entire sentence or paragraph, how to search and display results within the book, or how to navigate from a table of content. Uh, next update will address them.