Welcome to a new post about the intriguing ways books mix with technology and create new forms of art. While the previous post of this series was all about the book cover that judges its potential readers, this post is about sensory fiction.

Readers high tea sensory fiction
Image from flickr.com

Long story short, three MIT students (Felix Heibeck, Alexis Hope, and Julie Legault) created a prototype for what they call sensory fiction, defined as follows:

“Sensory fiction is about new ways of experiencing and creating stories”

The prototype is a “connected book and wearable” – a book equipped with sensors and other tech pieces. Its purpose is to help the reader get into the mood of the book and experience more genuinely the characters’ feelings as (s)he turns the pages.

Image credits to fastcodesign.com

The sensory fiction system has the following outputs that are in sync with the story that you’re reading:

  • light (the LEDs embedded in the book cover create ambient light and suggest a certain mood)
  • sound
  • heating device (to change skin temperature)
  • vibration (to influence the reader’s heart rate)
  • compression system (to let the reader feel pressure/lack of pressure)
Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 9.23.27 PM
The wearable part of the prototype. Image from flickr.com

While I find this project idea intriguing, I am not sure whether I would be one of the early adopters in case of a mass scale production of a similar gadget. On one hand I am excited about the idea of adding more “experiential” elements to the classic book. On the other hand, maybe the beauty of books lies in their simplicity … and there shouldn’t be additional layers on top of it.

I want to hear your opinions! Would you like to try out this type of book?

Till’ next time … happy reading!

Georgiana


Information source: MIT’s Science Fiction To Science Fabrication

Images  fastcodesign.com | flickr.com

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