Reading enthusiasts can be drawn into books and become engrossed with their characters.
However, this curious design from a team of students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology takes this idea and puts it into action. The project, called Sensory Fiction, is designed to take the reader through the emotional experiences of becoming completely engaged in a novel.
Felix Heibeck, Alexis Hope and Julie Legault are the creators of the conceptual design.
The slightly uncomfortable looking harness is a fully functioning prototype developed for a course project at the university called Science Fiction to Science Fabrication.
The reader wears the vest and reads a modified book that incorporates images and creates a mood. It reportedly allows the experience of feeling the protagonist’s physiological emotional responses.
The cover contains 150 LED lights and the book also responds with sounds to go along with the story. A network of sensors was programmed to activate and react to the pages. Experiences that can be felt in the body that are mimicked by the design include changes in heart rate and temperature, even a feeling of fear.
The creators picked a story titled “The Girl Who Was Plugged In” written by James Tiptree, which was selected for its range of settings and emotions that are felt by the main character.
Check out the Sensory Fiction video to see the prototype:
This type of interactive clothing technology puts a new spin on reading and pays attention to basic human responses, making them part of the storyline. Definitely an imaginative and entertaining project.
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