The White House has found a way to open up the iconic building to the whole nation this festive season, through innovative technology and interactive storytelling.
Created by Nexus Studios’ innovative Interactive Arts division and featuring animation and design from Nexus Studios director Jack Cunningham, the new mobile app '1600' allows the public to explore the White House using augmented reality technology.
The experience, narrated by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, tracks an intricate AR animation off a one dollar bill and celebrates the traditional events that unfold each year at the White House, continuing President Obama’s legacy of using digital innovation to increase accessibility to the White House.
Luke Ritchie, head of interactive arts at Nexus Studios, said: "It's a great honour and pleasure to have worked with the White House Historical Association and the Executive Office of the President on their first AR story.
“We believe interactive storytelling and emerging technologies can be unbelievably valuable in reaching audiences and with 1600 we've worked hard to tell an important story in the most beautiful and unexpected way".
The app, developed by Unity, works by pointing a phone at George Washington, where the White House then augments the one dollar bill and allows users to move around it in 360 degrees as different events take place in and around the building.
From the Easter Egg Roll to a press conference in the Rose Garden, users will experience all four seasons at the White House, as they try to spot President Obama and the First Lady or President Kennedy, or even President Lincoln.
Additionally users can literally pause the entire scene to explore the action in detail, zooming in and out and take photos for sharing on social media.
Christopher O’Reilly, ECD and co-founder at Nexus Studios, said: “Anybody with access to a smartphone will for the first time be able to enjoy the story and experience a year at the White House in Augmented Reality.
“We think this digitally innovative experience is a fitting collaboration to mark the end of the Obama’s administration that has sought to engage the tech community in government at an unprecedented level.”