Is That a Book You’re Wearing?

If you haven’t heard of this ‘wearable book’ concept, you’ve got to check it out.

Looks cozy, doesn't it? Credit: http://scifi2scifab.media.mit.edu/2013/12/19/sensory-fiction/
Looks cozy, doesn’t it?
Credit: Sensory Fiction

Here’s the rundown in case you don’t want to take the time to read the link:

These books allow you to experience the characters’ emotions, the setting’s ambiance, and the plot’s intensity. Sensors zap you if the character’s heart races. The vest heats you up during steamy love scenes and squeezes you during intense moments. The book’s cover dims the mood lighting during more somber moments.

Now that your mind has been sufficiently blown (or possibly not given the jaded views of our society on technology), let’s move into the discussion portion of the post. And, in doing so, let’s assume the zapping and squeezing doesn’t trigger heart attacks and skin isn’t seared off with a malfunctioning heating element.

I tend to lean on the more traditional side of reading. As in, I still actually pick up a physical book from the library (that’s right, I still use these little gems), hold it in my hand and turn the pages in order to extract the information contained between the (often beautiful and imaginative) covers. (I also like the smell of books and you can’t get that from a Kindle.) So I’m all for actually connecting to a book, but this has gone a little too far. To me, reading is about fostering the imagination. No imagination (or empathy, or attention span) is needed when you’re literally hooked into the story.

Laid back, inactive, non-engaging entertainment is what movies are for.

And what about the writing? This seems like it could allow authors to get lazy and skimp on the descriptions since a squeezing, zapping, heating vest can back them up. And description is what makes a book, in my opinion. The length and frequency, the words used. The authors that can find a right balance in the descriptive area are the best.

What do you think? Is this a new age of reading technology? Or will it be a short-lived novelty?

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One thought on “Is That a Book You’re Wearing?

  1. I prefer a book to be character driven and description to back them up as they lead us through the plot. It is part of my reading adventure to fill in some of the gaps with my own imagination. Everyone is different and there is enough choice in the market for all 🙂

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