Amazon has announced a new speed reading feature called Word Runner. It will debut in the companies new line of Fire Tablets due out at the end of September and will also be showcased in the Kindle e-reading apps for Android and iOS.
Kindle Word Runner shows text in the middle of the screen, like most speed reading apps. It does a few notable things though, such as the Dynamic Pacing function which slows down auto reading when you encounter a much larger word or something that is really complex. You might be breezing along in a novel until the word algorithmically appears, and it will pause for a moment to give you a chance to digest it.
One of the other major enhancements is called Brake. If you miss something, because maybe the kids are acting up or someone is calling your name and a bunch of text flies by you can just tap and hold the screen to activate the Brake. It instantly pauses Word Runner, and lets you easily scroll back and pick up wherever you’d like.
Will people use Word Runner? Well, I like the ability to customize how fast the text displays. So you can read really slow, or fast. Traditionally Fire Tablets need you to tap the screen in order to turn the page, and this is near new functionality for automatic page turns. It might be a gimmick, but I think its interesting at least. The average person may not employ it, but it might be appealing to a very small demographic.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.