About Us Two bros, studying Business and Computer Science in the Netherlands, who just wanted to spend less time reading and more time on creating stuff. It was 2019 during the Amsterdam autumn, a city full of brown tree leaves, calm water canals, and all. We had just entered university and struggled with the enormous workloads of academia. We were spending a week researching and reading academic articles just to write a single essay that barely got an average grade. Very little time for a beer in the park or to just enjoy the city, but most importantly, no time for us to learn and create our own stuff outside university. Frustrated, we decided to find a way to stop wasting time.
The problem We watched and read tons of books and YT videos on speed reading, but the only thing we did was to sacrifice our comprehension and barely increase our speed. In essence, we learned nothing, but to flip pages really fast. Then we turned into existing reading apps. All were based on the concept of flashing words individually on screen and we really got impressed with our ability to read that way. However, when we tried it with a 5000
-word document, we couldn't actually read, since it was hard to understand the flow of the document, see graphs, or even not miss any word. It just didn't feel like something to get the job done.
Researching for a solution Devastated with our performance and still spending weeks reading for university, it felt like time we understand if we personally weren't able to read faster, it was the speed reading courses and apps being flawed. After spending weeks doing research on how reading works, we finally understood what was going on. Turned out that current speed reading apps, that utilized the "flashing word" method, officially called RSVP (Rapid Serial Visual Presentation) are indeed not suitable for large text and there is no scientific proof that they can increase reading speed without compromising comprehension. As for the speed reading fad, unfortunately, science has debunked most of the wonderful promises such as reading speeds above 1000 WPM and subvocalisation elimination. Despite the idea of being able to brief through a book in a matter of minutes being amazing, it's just impossible if you were willing to understand any bit of it. All the research was put together in this White Paper , hoping it can help people understand.
Developing the most effective reading app. Putting our findings in a few lines would look like this; Our eyes perceive information only through a tiny part in the centre of our eyesight, so when we read, we essentially move that part on the lines to take small snapshots of 1
-2 words at a time and cannot read above ±800WPM and get the whole context. This are physical constraints and cannot be altered. With that in mind, we decided that since we cannot "improve our eyes", we better get the most out of them. To do so, we developed an algorithm that works similarly to how you'd use your finger a word pacer on a physical book, but better. Using a beautifully designed word pointer, the algorithm simulates the ideal eye movement on the text so your eyes can rest on it and leave more space for your brain to process the information. The algorithm helped us cut our reading time in half, and so we had time to make it into a Chrome extension and share it with the world.
Mission. We want to spend our time learning and creating things that help the world, and not wasting it on reading because our eyes are not good enough. With Fready, we hope that people stop spending time getting their input information, and spend more on creating beautiful stuff. Keep dreaming, The Fready Team, Filippos, and Nikitas.