The Empathy Vest

Is it possible to sense the effect of being there without physically being present?

Leah Heiss
developed the Empathy Vest to investigate remote sensing and Spatial Empathy (“the development of an implicit understanding and awareness of the spatial condition that another being is experiencing.”)


The garment allowed for the transmission of data that was converted into sensory affect. Two touch sensors and one voice relay sensor, gave the wearer a sense of experiencing informational stimulus mapped onto the body through the output modes – 4 x light channels and 1 x fan. These sensory impacts on the body questioned whether the fact that the wearer can feel the physical stimulus could make him/her develop an empathic connection with the remote space or person(s) from which the signals were being received.

Image source.