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Sensory Fiction: Wearable book lets readers experience what characters feel

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Jan 31, 2014 at 04:13pm IST

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New York: Hold your breath. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) media lab have designed a wearable book that makes readers quite literally feel what the book's characters are feeling.

The book, titled The Girl Who Was Plugged In, is part of an MIT project called 'Sensory Fiction'.

The book includes 150 LED lights and a series of sensors and actuators wired to a vest that readers wear.

Sensory Fiction: Wearable book lets readers experience what characters feel

The book includes 150 LED lights and a series of sensors and actuators wired to a vest that readers wear.

Depending on how the plot unfolds, the augmented book generates vibrations and ambient light to simulate a character or story's mood, said a press release issued by MIT.

"The Sensory Fiction author is provided with new means of conveying plot, mood and emotion while still allowing space for the reader's imagination," said the release.

"These tools can be wielded to create an immersive storytelling experience tailored to the reader," it added.

For example, a fearful passage triggers the vest's body compression system to constrict and get tighter around the wearer's stomach and back.

Vibration patterns during exciting passages cause the heart rate to increase, while more sombre moments might trigger a soft, dark light.

The vest's localised body temperature control might heat up during a particularly embarrassing section, the release added.

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