We've just submitted a new application to the Mac App Store: Rabbit Word, a speed-reading tool with some innovations based on recent neuroscience research about visual information processing. I've long found the physical act of reading very interesting and as I've recently been watching our youngest son learning to talk, the translation of thoughts into symbolic sounds and phonetic glyphs has again proven fascinating.
Linguistic philosophy and neuroanatomy aside, this app's raison d'être is to allow more of your natural visual brainpower to be applied to reading by seeing chunks of text as idea-objects, rather than codified sounds. While chunking is a long established speed-reading technique, Rabbit Word extends it to help you read by seeing whole ideas rather than words in the same way you recognize a face as a gestalt object rather than just a collection of parts.
Normally reading is kind of like trying to recognize a face by peering at it with a microscope, seeing only an inch at a time. Of course, the brain is a truly phenomenal organ and can do the miraculous trick of turning letters into ideas through recognizing the sound they represent and their corresponding symbolic communication. But, if we could make reading less about imagined listening and more about seeing the ideas, our efficiency and understanding of text could theoretically be greatly increased.
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. With the goal of seeing text as complex pictures, we present Rabbit Word, soon to be available on the Mac App Store. We're very excited to see what you think about it.