Friday, May 9, 2014

Sensory Fiction: transforming reading the way sound transformed silent film

"Sensory fiction" allows the reader to experience the protagonist's world as she does, with the help of a wearable vest that simulates, among other things, heartbeats and shivers. "The 'augmented' book portrays the scenery and sets the mood," the designers explain, "and the wearable allows the reader to experience the protagonist's physiological emotions.

"So the book is a book ... but it's also a bit of a video game. And a virtual reality experience. And a piece of wearable tech. Instead of asking the reader (well, "the reader") to empathize with its heroine, imaginatively, the novella uses physical stimuli to enforce that connection. The empathy is imposed. The feeling comes from ... the feeling. The Atlantic and SlatePhoto courtesy of MIT Media Lab via Flickr