Can the iPhone Really Make You Smarter?

New iPhone app uses a highly researched theory of memorization to teach users foreign languages

IOWA CITY, IOWA – Everyone knows the iPhone can make you look cool… but can it make you smarter as well? A new iPhone app in the iTunes store from developer Componica thinks it can, and has some pretty impressive research to back it up. “Using the theory of Spaced Repetition,” says Componica CEO Dr. Steven Mitchell, “someone using the Memorize Words for Spanish app can learn up to 10,000 words over the period of a year to such an extent that they will never forget them.”
So what is Spaced Repetition? Whenever you try to learn a new concept like “corbata = necktie,” the likelihood of you remembering this fact decays over time exponentially. However, if you’re reminded later that “corbata = necktie,” the concept becomes more cemented in your mind and likelihood of you remembering will not decay as rapidly. Using a special algorithm within the iPhone application, Memorize Words tracks the progress of the user and adjusts itself to the optimal learning conditions of that student.

Some of the additional features of Memorize Words include:
• Over 6,300 frequently learned Spanish Words with pronunciation professionally recorded by a native Spanish speaker.
• Four interactive puzzle games to reinforce the lessons
• Searchable Spanish / English dictionary for on-the-go translations

“Memorizing words efficiently is all about timing.” says Dr. Carlous Caple, a renowned expert on Spaced Repetition and Educational Technology. “Review a word too often and you’ll waste time; review a word too infrequently and you’ll forget it.” Memorize Words tracks your rate of forgetting individual words, reminding you that “corbata” means “necktie” when your Recall rate for the word “corbata” has dropped below 90%.
“Because the iPhone is with the student each day”, says Dr. Capel, “ it gives us a unique opportunity to reinforce the language learning curve in a manner no other device in history has ever allowed, much like being in an emersion environment. I hear a lot about programs like Rosetta Stone being used by people in the military stationed in a foreign language environment – that social interaction is the spaced repetition. Memorize Words helps people who are not able to be emerged in that same environment build the same vocabulary strength”.
Componica plans on releasing versions of the Memorize Words application for additional languages in the near future, with a version for Russian and French already in the works. The application is available in the iTunes app store for $6.99 with a free version available to those wishing to try before you buy.
About Componica:
Componica originated in Iowa City, Iowa, in 2004 and was founded with the purpose of finding practical applications for machine learning, pattern recognition, and image processing. Componica specializes in image processing, pattern recognition, graphical user interfaces, and solving problems requiring mathematical and engineering skill sets beyond those of the average software developer. Componica’s founder, Dr. Steven Mitchell holds his PhD in Electrical Computer Engineering from the University of Iowa. For more information visit

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