Book changes temperature or vibrates, depending on the plot

Ever get caught up in a book, to the point where it felt like you had left your everyday world and gotten caught up in the protagonist's experiences? A new type of book could vastly increase that immersion, using temperature and vibration to reflect what's happening in the book as you read.


This "Sensory Fiction" project is the creation of MIT's Media Lab, who explain:

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.

Changes in the protagonist's emotional or physical state triggers discrete feedback in the wearable, whether by changing the heartbeat rate, creating constriction through air pressure bags, or causing localized temperature fluctuations.

For their "prototype story," they wisely chose "The Girl Who Was Plugged In" by James Tiptree, Jr., which "showcases an incredible range of settings and emotions."

What do you think? Would you want a book to give you biofeedback as you read? Would this be one way to keep people from switching to e-books? [MIT Media Lab via PSFK]


Ignatius Reilly

Eeeeeh, well I guess it could be useful if you're a 50 Shades of Grey fan...

Other than that, it sounds dumb. I don't even like too much rumbling on a video game controller.


Also I'm tired of tech add-on's in multiple forms of media being pitched as short cuts to immersion. I'll stick with good old fashioned quality storytelling, thanks.