Imagine slipping on a special vest before curling up with a good book. The vest senses your reactions to the protagonist in the story and gives you goosebumps, or startles you.
This is a real thing now.
Welcome to the future. It is here.
A student project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has resulted in a vest they call Sensory Fiction. The idea came as a result of research that shows that reading a novel can trick your brain into thinking you’re actually experiencing what is happening in the book.
Sensory Fiction is “a new means of conveying plot, mood and emotion while still allowing space for the reader’s imagination.” according to the project website.
More from the project website:
“Traditionally, fiction creates and induces emotions and empathy through words and images. By using a combination of networked sensors and actuators, the Sensory Fiction author is provided with new means of conveying plot, mood, and emotion while still allowing space for the reader’s imagination. These tools can be wielded to create an immersive storytelling experience tailored to the reader.
To explore this idea, we created a connected book and wearable. The ‘augmented’ book portrays the scenery and sets the mood, and the wearable allows the reader to experience the protagonist’s physiological emotions.
The book cover animates to reflect the book’s changing atmosphere, while certain passages trigger vibration patterns.”
Other student projects included a robotic arm similar to one from “Star Wars” and a version of Ice-9 from Kurt Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle.”
Check out how it works in the video below:
So what do you think? Would you like to wear this vest? Or use your imagination?