Presidents have a long history of using new technology to reach the American people in the comfort of their homes—from radio and television to social media. Last year, we joined the first family for a tour of Yosemite. Now, President Obama returns to VR to take us on a personal tour of the White House as he closes out his final term.
A historic new experience from Felix & Paul Studios and Oculus, The People’s House: Inside the White House with Barack and Michelle Obama launches today as a 360 video available on Facebook and Oculus Video for Rift and Gear VR. Experience nine famous areas of the White House, as seen through the President and First Lady’s eyes. A longer, even more immersive VR version of the tour will come to both Rift and Gear VR soon!
“Michelle and I always joke, we’re just renters here ... the owners are the American people and all those invested in creating this amazing place with so much history,” states President Obama in the film. “What we want to do is make sure that everybody felt they had access to it ... that as many people as possible could come in and appreciate the place where Lincoln or FDR or Reagan had made decisions that helped to shape America.”
Known as “The People’s House,” the White House is the only private residence of a head of state that’s open to the public. Although tours are conducted free of charge, you’d still need to travel to Washington, DC. Through technology, the Obama Administration has opened up the White House to many more people over the past eight years, including a behind-the-scenes video series. Now, the President and First Lady take you inside the rooms of the White House—including non-public spaces like the Oval Office—for an intimate guided tour only possible in 360 video and VR.
“Every president moves to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with the full awareness that it is a temporary address,” President Obama notes in the film. “This is where we watched our daughters grow up. This is where we came to know the talented, devoted, optimistic Americans from every corner of the country and every station in life. Because as beautiful as these buildings are, it’s the people in them and the work that’s done here, the triumphs and tragedies you experience over course of your years here—that’s what imbues a place with meaning.”
From generations of history to more recent milestones, we hope you’ll enjoy this inside look at the everyday spaces the Obamas called “home” over the past eight years.
— The Oculus Team