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8 years, 7 months ago
THE WEARABLE BOOK
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'Biography' presents a wide selection of works from Elmgreen & Dragset's complex universe, including sculpture, performance and interactive installations. Works from the late 1990s onwards will be shown together with recent projects, ...
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It’s straight out of the pages of science fiction: a “wearable” book, which uses temperature controls and lighting to mimic the experiences of a story’s protagonist, has been dreamed up by academics at MIT.

The book, explain the researchers, senses the page a reader is on, and changes ambient lighting and vibrations to “match the mood”. A series of straps form a vest which contains a “heartbeat and shiver simulator”, a body compression system, temperature controls and sound.

photo flicker.com

photo flicker.com

“Changes in the protagonist’s emotional or physical state trigger discrete feedback in the wearable [vest], whether by changing the heartbeat rate, creating constriction through air pressure bags, or causing localised temperature fluctuations,” say the academics.

Dubbed “sensory fiction”, the idea was developed by Felix Heibeck, Alexis Hope and Julie Legault at MIT’s media lab. The prototype story used was James Tiptree Jr’s Hugo award-winning novella The Girl Who Was Plugged in, in which the protagonist P Burke – who is deformed by pituitary dystrophy and herself experiences life through an avatar – feels “both deep love and ultimate despair, the freedom of Barcelona sunshine and the captivity of a dark damp cellar”, said the researchers.

photo flicker.com

photo flicker.com

“Sensory fiction is about new ways of experiencing and creating stories,” they write. “Traditionally, fiction creates and induces emotions and empathy through words and images. By using a combination of networked sensors and actuators, the sensory fiction author is provided with new means of conveying plot, mood, and emotion while still allowing space for the reader’s imagination. These tools can be wielded to create an immersive storytelling experience tailored to the reader.

photo flicker.com

photo flicker.com

photo flicker.com

photo flicker.com

“To explore this idea, we created a connected book and wearable [vest]. The ‘augmented’ book portrays the scenery and sets the mood, and the wearable allows the reader to experience the protagonist’s physiological emotions.”

photo flicker.com

photo flicker.com

photo flicker.com

photo flicker.com

SENSORY FICTION from Felix on Vimeo.

via theguardian.com

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