Wearable book creates unique reading experience

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

book tech
The vest-like accessory comes equipped with airbags, sensors, and vibrating abilities to manipulate a reader’s physical state.

New interactive reading technology from the MIT Media Lab called Sensory Fiction might allow readers to experience books in a whole new way. The tech is designed to vibrate, change lighting, adjust body temperature, and perform other wacky things based on a story’s setting and character emotions.

Sensory Fiction comes with a special vest-like gadget of sensors and motors that react to what page a reader is on. If a page is detailing a cold climate, for example, the vest will activate certain sensors to lower body temperature. Or, if a character is going through an intense fight scene, the contraption will vibrate and speed up the person’s heart rate. Other cool features include an airbag compression system that will give the reader a sense of tightness and LED bulbs that set the mood.

So far, the only story that has been equipped with Sensory Fiction is James Tiptree’s The Girl Who Was Plugged In. Disappointingly, the creators don’t have any plans to make Sensory Fiction into an actual product; they just wanted to explore the idea of interactive books. Hopefully, it inspires other inventors to create similar devices for mass production.

Images courtesy of MIT and Sensory Fiction.