Barack and Michelle Obama lead a VR tour of the White House
Oculus has teamed up with Felix & Paul Studios to present "The People's House: A Tour of the White House with Barack and Michelle Obama." The experience is a 360-degree tour of the White House for Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR.
The tour focuses on the "state floors" of the White House, the area of the building that serves public functions (as opposed to the upper floors, which serve as the First Family's private residence). This includes highly public areas like the Cross Hall through which every tourist passes, to largely off-limits spaces like The Situation Room, which leading intelligence and national security officials use as a central information center alongside the president.
Throughout the tour, Barack and Michelle Obama discuss each location's historical significance, interspersed with personal reflections and modern musings. At one point, you find yourself in the Oval Office alone with the president speaking directly to you. In a way, a VR visit is better than the average White House tour: You have two VIP concierges.
This is the second time that President Obama has worked with emerging 360-degree media to promote awareness of natural and historic points of interest. Last August, he collaborated on the VR journey "Through the Ages" to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the US National Parks Service.
Obama has voiced general support of technology throughout his term, but if nothing else, a sitting president participating in a VR production reinforces the legitimacy of the medium.
An 8-minute version of "The People's House: Inside the White House with Barack and Michelle Obama" is available now through the Oculus Videos app for Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR. It's also available as a 360-degree video, which you can see below. It's not as natural to view as the VR version, so be sure to click around the video to get a good look.
According to Oculus, a more immersive full-length VR version of the tour will be available soon.
Source: Oculus Blog