Imagine your book could tell you a story in more ways than just through text. Imagine your book knew when you were anxious or excited and responded accordingly. That is the basic idea behind Sensory Fiction.
The video might leave you thinking that the only thing happening is that the book cover changes colors. However, if you read the specs on the project website, you can find that there are many more things going on here.
Let's start with the book. There are 150 LEDs mounted in the front and rear covers. These change to reflect the mood of the story. While they don't say how they are triggered, you can see that the pages are staggered and could be sensed with small magnetic reed switches or possibly photoresistors.
Aside from the visual stimulus of the ambient light changing, there are several things happening on the body of the reader. The harness that the woman in the video wears has the ability to constrict you, cool/warm you, and even give small vibrations. All of these, used subtly enough, could add to the story by giving you the feeling of the cold damp cellar, or the sunny beach.
I love the concept. While this example is obviously not ready for mass production, I think the experience of an interactive story that gives you more than just mental images has true value. You can see a few more detailed pictures of the book on their Flickr stream.
Could this be another possible use of wearables in the future? Right now everything seems to be focused on statistics collection and sensing, but what about improving multimedia experiences?
— Caleb Kraft, Chief Community Editor, EE Times