Pokémon Go showed just how popular augmented reality can be. The game became a worldwide sensation over the summer, leading to numerous stories about marauding players trampling neighbourhoods. Now, an unlikely entity has joined the AR party: The White House.
As its name suggests, the “1600” app lets people use their smartphone or tablet to watch virtual events, such as state arrival ceremonies and the annual Easter Egg Roll, taking place at the tiny, Minecraft-style Presidential address.
Like other Augmented Reality applications, you can move your smartphone around the generated object to view it from different angles, all while it appears to remain in the same place. You’ll also need a dollar bill to take a virtual tour of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on your device.
“From hosting festivals on the South Lawn to allowing people to explore its rooms via Google Street View, President Obama has used traditional events and new technology to open up the doors of the White House to more Americans than ever before,” writes White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, on the official White House website.
The White House Historical Association teamed up with Nexus Studios to create the augmented reality experience, which is primarily aimed at children. The White House adds that it also hopes to educate and inspire Americans “to learn all about what the People’s House stands for.”
While it's unlikely to entertain people in the same way as Pokémon Go, the app shows how augmented reality can be used in areas beyond gaming, such as making dry, educational subjects interesting for kids.