Tag Archives: technology

Spritz reading

A new mobile app will be loaded onto the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy S5 and Gear 2 smart watches. The aim is to increase your reading speed up to 1,000 words-per-minute by flashing the words at you one at a time. 

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Reading basics

Traditional reading involves publishing text in lines and moving your eyes sequentially from word to word. For each word, the eye seeks a certain point within the word (Optimal Recognition Point or ORP), after your eyes find the ORP, your brain starts to process the meaning of the word that you’re viewing. With each new word your eyes move and then seek out the ORP for that word. Once the ORP is found, processing the word for meaning and context occurs and your eyes move to the next word. When your eyes encounter punctuation within and between sentences your brain is prompted to assemble all of the words that you have read and processes them into a coherent thought. When reading only around 20% of your time is spent processing content the remaining 80% is spent physically moving your eyes from word to word and scanning for the next ORP.

Where Spritz claims to be different

“Spritzing can be learned in less than 5 minutes and, if you don’t spritz for a month, no practice is needed to return to your previous speed. From the fonts used to the algorithms that process content, Spritz is designed to empower effective reading on a small display area. Removing the eye movement associated with traditional reading methods not only reduces the number of times your eyes move, but also decreases the number of times your eyes pass over words for your brain to understand them.”

We’ve tried the online version in the HL Studios office and whilst it’s definitely fun to use as a test, is it really a viable alternative to traditional reading?

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Posted by on March 31, 2014 in design news


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When your heart stops beating, you’ll keep tweeting

Controversial app that updates your Twitter feed from beyond the grave

LivesOn is a new Twitter service which will allow users to carry on their stream of consciousness in 140 characters or less from beyond the grave. It will analyse users’ Twitter feeds to learn their ‘likes, tastes and syntax’ to continue posting similar messages, updates and links after they’ve passed.

The service, due to launch in March, promises: ‘When your heart stops beating, you’ll keep tweeting.’

Your social afterlife: LivesOn will analyse users' Twitter feeds to learn their 'likes, tastes, [and] syntax' to continue posting similar messages, updates and links after they've passed
LivesOn is being developed by London-based advertising agency Lean Mean Fighting Machine.

Dave Bedwood, a creative partner at the firm, told the Guardian he was ready for negative responses to the service.

‘It divides people on a gut level, before you even get to the philosophical and ethical arguments,’ he said.

‘It offends some, and delights others. Imagine if people started to see it as a legitimate but small way to live on.

‘Cryogenics costs a fortune; this is free and I’d bet it will work better than a frozen head.’

LivesOn uses artificial intelligence algorithms to analyse users’ online behaviour and their style of writing.

This allows it to scour the internet to post the kinds of links its users like, as well as mimic their manner of communicating and favourite appropriate tweets to create a personal digital afterlife.

An early post on the LivesOn Twitter feed pronounces: ‘God doesn’t exist, servers do. Sign up to the real after life.’

But as bizarre as it might seem, LivesOn is only the latest service to offer to continue your social media life after death.

DeadSocial, launched last April, and If I Die, launched in January 2012, offer users the ability to send predetermined messages from beyond the grave to selected Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.

DeadSocial can be scheduled to post social media updates for long after users have passed away, while If I Die posts a single video or text message to the Facebook wall of any user after three friends confirm their death.

LivesOn is the first service to offer to automatically continue posting in the style of the dead user, however.

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Posted by on February 20, 2013 in design news


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Why choose HL Studios?

As a creative design company HL Studios has established a name for itself by delivering solutions that really work. We provide quality design that gets the message across and brings real-life innovative results.

Aren’t all graphic designers the same?

We don’t think so, and in fact we genuinely believe that we are different from other companies offering similar services and here’s why:

We have established ourselves in our sector and now provide our many services to a range of clients throughout the UK and beyond. You can be assured that when you deal with us you will get great value, high quality work and outstanding service.

Indeed, client satisfaction is very important to us, as is our focus on helping clients meet their objectives and needs. Whether creating a new corporate brand or designing a book layout, we have the solutions.

Our studio philosophy is simple.

We produce great work and we achieve results by listening to what our clients want and then we deliver it to them. We have all the capabilities and experience you’d expect, but we don’t have the hierarchy of account management that often leads to slow response times and confused briefs.

You get direct access to the design team doing the work, meaning that working with us is a truly hands-on experience. Be that over the phone, site visits or simply popping in for a cup of tea. We are approachable, upfront and honest, have a real ‘can do’ attitude and a never ending supply of biscuits.

We are always looking for fresh new challenges. So scan the code, visit the website or simply pick up the phone and chat to one of our friendly peeps today…

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Posted by on November 15, 2012 in design news, illustration news


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Check out Google homepage today and see where the internet lives…

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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in design news


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Oh to be a child again!

Picture the technology available when you were a child… I dont know about you but, I dont consider myself to be that old (30’s ahem) and things were pretty shabby. 2D graphics with the only movement in a game being left to right, phoneboxes (and calling the operator for a reverse charge call to your mum) no internet and a computer room at school where you could sit infront of a giant box and grow an electronic sunflower in double science (anyone remember that?!).

With the amazingly fast innovations in computers, software and the internet, there are ever more opportunities to learn and interact in new ways. While much popular thought is automatically led to computer games, it is not just about leisure. We are now beginning to see how animation can have a massive positive impact on how we deliver educational material, and the same applies whether considering educating small children; preparing secondary pupils for their exams; helping students to engage with their coursework or putting new recruits through essential training in everything from the specialisms of their sector to rudimentary health and safety and first aid procedures.

Animations can help get a message across in a number of ways, from providing an introduction to delivering clear step by step instructions. Animations are also a great way to illustrate an abstract concept, as normally inanimate objects can be made to move in an animated film sequence, to have lives of their own and even to speak.

This is a new way of imparting information that was previously the preserve of Walt Disney through his cartoons. Today, thanks to computer technology, it is much quicker, simpler and cheaper to put together animations than ‘in older times’ when lots of long hand drawings would be involved. As plenty of YouTube videos from children have already proved, you do not need sophisticated equipment to make a quick animation. And equally, the possibilities are only really limited by your imagination.

Simple basics need to be got right. For example, files sizes need to be delivered at a scale which will work on all computers, in a software format that different machines will recognise (damn you Apple). If the animation is being delivered on a DVD, then the file size needs to be small enough to fit on the medium, whilst being easily accessible by a non-specialist, from a simple menu or by an on-screen link. Likewise, if the animations are being delivered online, then they need to be easy to download or else should be hosted on a web server that has the capacity for a classroom of children to access the animation many times over, concurrently.

Modern day publishers are grasping this new technology with both hands, with new digital departments springing up alongside traditional print ones to convert old media to new. Amazon lead the way with the Kindle and Apple with the beautiful iPad (see how quickly we stopped questioning what a tablet was!). We already have the Wii and the beginnings of the ‘Minority Report’ style interface, mind control and retinal control.

So what do we think the future holds? And can the printed word continue to be part of it?

This post was published by Bookmachine – it’s a site for the people who make publishing happen.



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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in design news


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How to save money by templating your interactive books

Template your interactive e-books to make them cost-effective

We have recently just finished a series of interactive e-books for Richmond Publishing. These books contain a reward game, colouring in activity, pelmanism activity and pages of the book with highlighted text narrated.

We templated the whole product and coded it in such a way so that graphics and content could be replaced for the other titles in the series.

By doing this future e-books reusing the same template could come out as cost-effective as $500 per title.

To see examples of this in action please visit

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Posted by on July 5, 2012 in design news


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Concept Design For ‘Instagram Sunglasses’

Hey Instagram fans—how would you like to view your world in Instagram filters?

German designer Markus Gerke has unveiled an ingenious concept idea of integrating Instagram into a pair of sunglasses—allowing users to view their world in a desired filter.

Called ‘Instaglasses’, it has Instagram filters built into the lens of the glasses that can be changed with a press of a button.

It is also equipped with an in-built 5-megapixel camera with Wi-Fi capability—allowing users to take a picture and upload the image straight to the Instagram app.

Though it maybe a concept design, myself and other massive Instagram fans would definitely be eager for this pair of sunglasses to start production!

Raise your hands if you want a pair of Instaglasses!

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Posted by on June 22, 2012 in design news


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