The Media Lab at MIT may have been a year or two late on its Sensory Fiction project. Its aim is to physically enhance the reader experience with new technology.

Sensory Fiction requires a connected book and a wearable type of gadget that fits like a vest. The book portrays scenery and mood while the wearable gets the reader to feel the protagonist’s emotions. This can be done through changing of heartbeat rate, constricting air pressure bags or temperature fluctuations.

Imagine, feeling everything the protagonist is feeling.

I can’t help but think that Sensory Fiction might be a year or two late as the craziness from 50 Shades of Grey has died down. This could have been a huge money maker.

On a more a serious note, this sounds like an interesting concept and it’s obviously in its early stages. The two parts work in conjunction with the book’s cover changing light depending on the mood and setting. There are also sounds to enhance the experience.

My biggest concern is how this would affect people who have heart conditions. The wearable has vibrations that could influence heart rate. This type of technology could be limited for users who have heart problems.

Here’s a look at the Flickr page for The Media Lab at MIT showing off “The Girl Who was Plugged In,” it’s cute title for the working book in the project.

Would you buy something like this if it were available on the market right now?


  1. Interesting post and thanks for this heads up. You might like to know about and look into a small YA novel from the UK called SEAbean or SeaBEAN, by Sarah Holding, and since it is about climate change and global warming issues, but told for children, the cover has, are you ready? — “a unique heat-sensitive thermo-chromic cover which remains dark normally but reveals a picture behind the darkness when warmed by the touch of the hand!” see photo of cover above in website hot link or here:

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