Your heart is racing and your breath feels constricted. You’ve started to sweat around your hairline. You’re not sure if you should call 911, lay down, open a window, or…put down the book.
Have you ever read a book and found yourself at a loss as to what to think and feel?
Yeah. Me neither. But for those who have, consider Sensory Fiction, a wearable device and augmented book now in prototype at MIT. It straps on, and most of its brains ride right between the shoulder blades; it mostly looks like a techno-savvy baby carrier.
As the protagonist’s emotional or physical state changes, so does the reader’s, via ambient light, slight vibrations, and, get this: localized temperature fluctuations and constricting airbags that actually change the reader’s heart rate. The emotional response I’m getting right now, without wearing the device, is: fear. The device has airbags?