A new MIT project called Sensory Fiction is here to change your relentless insistence that the movie version was better than the book. Researchers have created a wearable, augmented book that tries to physically make you feel the characters' feelings as you read the story.
In today's hyper-technological world, an actual paper book can seem like a far cry from the brink of boring to some (stupid) people. We get it; There's no spine-tingling score that's probably by Daft Punk, adrenaline-filled action sequences that break your adrenal glands, or steamy sex scenes where you get to see your favorite actress' boobs. Lately, the human imagination seems less capable of recreating written action and dialogue mentally in exciting ways, and more reliant on Hollywood to show them the worlds and characters they read about. Short story shorter; books aren't cutting it in the entertainment arena for most of us anymore.
Think about how many books are translated into movies for that very reason; 50 Shades of Grey, Harry Potter, Hunger Games…even the TV show Friday Night Lights was originally a book, but someone decided it would be much cooler if the football players were super hot ex-Abercrombie models…True.
But a new MIT project called Sensory Fiction is here to change your relentless insistence that the movie version was better than the book. Researchers have created a wearable, augmented book that tries to physically make you feel the characters' feelings as you read the story. And if that doesn't up the entertainment value of reading for you, then you…suck.
The book itself is covered in sensors and actuators hooked up to a vest that you wear while reading it. As the plot unfolds, the book-vest contraption produces physical sensations that mimic the action you're reading about (assuming you still know how). One hundred LED lights on the book change color to replicate emotions like depression or love, while air pressure bags on the vest constrict or loosen to imitate fear or relaxation. Vibration patterns that influence your heart rate can make you feel excited, and heating pads can make you feel the flush of embarrassment. So. Many. Emotions. And while it obviously doesn't carry the same visual impact that movies do, it's a whole new way to experience books that caters to today's Gen Y technies, adrenaline junkies, and at times, the illiterate.
So, in the name of progressing from actual reading to complete, drone-like reliance on visual media, here's a video about Sensory Fiction that perfectly negates our career as writers! But, real talk: Sensory Fiction is actually pretty damn cool. Check it: