Sensory Fiction: A Wired Reading Experience

A Ken Burns iPad app, touchscreen subway maps, swapping sexism and more in our weekly look at the web

Reading a powerful book is sure to elicit an emotional, if not a physical reaction—a quickened pulse at suspenseful moments, a chill down your back. However a new project from students at MIT takes the experience to the next level. The aptly dubbed Sensory Fiction uses inexpensive technology combined with neuroscience to create a wired reading experience that allows the reader to share in the characters’ feelings. A microprocessor senses what page the reader is on, setting off a different set of sensations including temperature changes, vibration and a vest that swells and compresses—giving new meaning science fiction.