AutoReader 3D: Reading in 3D stereo and reducing eye strain

July 25, 2012
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    Being able to carry copies of digital books may have made things easier for many of us, but if you read something for hours on end, it won’t take long before you’ve developed a headache and eyestrain. We have different ways of coping. Some of us turn down the brightness level of our mobile devices, while others change the background and the text color. Smarter, more savvy Android users, will have a different approach to preventing eyestrain.

    Developed by webstunning apps, AutoReader 3D looks like a regular reader at first. When you launch it, you’ll see a very clean interface with no frills. The app comes with an explanatory guide which you can test the app’s features on.

    If you find the reader’s default text size too small, you can easily change it by pinching to zoom. The words will then increase in size and fill the screen for easy reading. If you want to turn to the next page, simply swipe from the right to the left. Swipe left to right to go back a page.

    AutoReader 3D is not sensitive to your phone’s turning even to the slightest to the left or the right, so you don’t need to worry about the app changing your reading orientation. If you want to switch from the default portrait view to landscape, plant two fingertips on the screen. We suggest your thumb and your pointer finger. Then turn them like you’re turning a doorknob. That will change the screen orientation.

    By default, AutoReader 3D shows light text against a dark background. If you’re more comfortable reading dark text on a light background, you can change it in the Settings menu.

    What makes AutoReader 3D different from other readers is the Play button on the bottom. When you  tap it, you’ll be brought to another screen. The background will still be dark by default, but it isn’t pure black. It’ll be a textured background of some sort and words will be flashed individually on the screen.

    You can adjust the speed these words are flashed at, as well as their size. Simply pinch to zoom and watch as the font becomes bigger or smaller. Tap it once to pause it, but tap it twice to bring up individual words in pairs.

    AutoReader 3D is different because it uses the same concept of Stereograms. The developers claim that reading in stereo is beneficial to the eyes as it relaxes the external eye muscles and helps the eyes focus together as a binocular pair.

    To be able to read in stereo, you’ll need to change the way you read. The first step involves focusing your gaze beyond the screen, such as the wall behind it, before you focus on the screen. It helps to increase the brightness in the room you’re in so you can see your reflection on the screen.

    The two words on the screen will blur into four words. Control your eyes so that the words become three. When the center word is aligned, your brain will lock into place and you’ll be able to focus on it alone.

    When writing this Android app review, I tested AutoReader 3D on an HTC Sensation and using the explanatory text file that came with it. Trying to read in 3D was a little hard at first and it felt like I was crossing my eyes, but after a while, it was easy to lock on to the words.

    AutoReader 3D claims to also increase the speed of reading and to eliminate subvocalization, the hidden unconscious movement of the organs of the mouth left over from learning to pronounce words in childhood. Because the words were shown individually on the screen, I was able to focus on each of them but it was a challenge to keep up with the sentence structure and meaning.

    If you’re still getting used to reading in stereo, I suggest choosing a slower speed to flash the words at. When you’ve had the hang of it, you can then increase the speed.

    You can download the ad-supported AutoReader 3D Free from the Google Play Store. If you want to get rid of the ads and support the developer, you can purchase AutoReader 3D, its pro version, for about a dollar.

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    Comments

    • http://www.twitter.com/pierre_foucart Pierre

      Probably the worst demo I have ever seen…

    • Pee Air

      ^^^^ Definitely the worst comment I have ever read…

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