Researchers at MIT have reportedly developed a wearable technology that could allow readers to actually feel the emotions and physical state of characters from a fiction book.
The innovation, dubbed 'Sensory Fiction', is a wearable book that uses networked sensors and actuators to mimic the characters' state through discrete tangible feedback.
Developers Felix Heibeck, Alexis Hope, and Julie Legault explain that traditionally, fiction creates and induces emotions and empathy through words and images and werable book's author is provided with new means of conveying plot, mood, and emotion while still allowing space for the reader's imagination, Cnet reports.
According to the report, the main protagonist in the prototype augmented story, 'The Girl Who Was Plugged In' by James Tiptree Jr., experiences a range of emotions and sensations, including deep love and profound despair, the warmth of sunshine and the constriction and coldness of a dark damp cellar.
The wearable book consists of programmable glowing LEDs that create ambient light based on what page the reader's on; a personal heating device secured at the collarbone that changes skin temperature; vibrations to influence heart rate; and a compression system to convey tightness or loosening through pressurized airbags.
The wearable book includes a motorized vest to physically produce the sensations and the device adds physical realism to entertainment, the report added.