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Launched in England less than a year ago, ICUE software lets users read novels on their cell phone without the irritation of constantly scrolling through blocks of text displayed on the small screen. Instead, the text is flashed on the screen one word (or short phrase) at a time.

The simple java application is based on the tachistoscope, a rapid image recognition device. Invented by the United States Air Force, it was first used to train pilots to recognize enemy planes from a distance. The device was later used to teach speed-reading techniques.

…While Tappuni says the company plans to launch ICUE in the United States, it will only do so once it has cracked the more technologically sophisticated UK market. “The UK is 18 months to two years ahead of the US cellular market,” Tappuni says. “Only 35 percent of Americans have sent a text message, as compared to almost 100 percent in the UK.”