Beeline for reading efficiency?

Beeline for reading efficiency?

A digital plugin designed to boost reading efficiency through colorized text could be helpful for patients suffering from decreasing vision or tracking difficulties.

"It could be a nice addition to any existing recommendation given to a patient or parent."

Called the BeeLine Reader, the web browser-based text converter applies a color gradient to standard digital copy that ebbs and flows throughout a sentence with a goal of helping readers' eyes track lines of text more efficiently from beginning to end.

Click here to see a demonstration of the 'bright' setting on a mobile device, and click here to see three other color settings, each increasingly more subtle with 'dark' tones, blue hues and a grayscale.

Based on the theory that the human brain processes colors much more quickly than words—think traffic lights—the BeeLine Reader claims to guide readers' eyes with color queues to eliminate transition errors, such as skipping lines or repeating words.

The software can be used on mobile devices or Internet browsers for digital text, and a converter is available to apply the gradient to PDF documents.

Potential aid to patients?
Originally developed for patients with conditions such as dyslexia or attention disorders, the company claims that anyone could see benefits in reading speed and decreased eye strain, as well as in patients with congenital low-vision or deteriorating vision.

Elizabeth Steele, O.D., AOA New Technology Committee member, recently wrote a product information article on the software for providers and patients to reference. Dr. Steele suggests the software could prove a simple, useful tool for some patients.

"The BeeLine Reader has the potential to benefit those with reading difficulties, particularly school-age children and others who are reading on computers or electronic devices," Dr. Steele says, adding that she noticed text was easier and quicker to read while testing the software herself.

"It could be a nice addition to any existing recommendation given to a patient or parent for these types of struggles."

December 1, 2014

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