Thursday, July 28, 2005

Rapid-Fire Reading on Your Cell Phone (Mobile Magazine)

I don't know of anyone who likes e-books as much as I do. I'm fanatical about them. I do almost all my reading on Palm OS devices. I buy books from, read news from AvantGo, and copy articles from the web onto my handheld. My Tapwave Zodiac is an insurance policy against boredom. The interminable lines at the DMV are no match for the half-dozen digital books and 50-odd articles I carry in my pocket at all times.

Maybe I'm just a lousy evangelist, but I haven't convinced many wood-pulp aficionados to go digital. Treeware users typically complain that small displays make it difficult to read. And they have a point. There's only so much text you can cram onto a small display before it becomes illegible, and when the text is large you have to press the Next button a lot, which interrupts your reading flow.

There's a possible solution to the problem that doesn't require devices with bigger displays. In fact, the displays could be even smaller than they are now. It's called "rapid serial visual presentation" (RSVP for short), and it involves displaying text one word at a time on a phone or handheld screen.

[via BoingBoing]

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