December has arrived (finally), and as we get ready to say goodbye to 2016 and welcome the festive season, the White House has found an interesting way to open up the iconic building to the whole nation - through innovative technology and interactive storytelling.
In a symbol of how digital is having an impact on all aspects of our lives and how important digital is, Nexus Studios’ innovative Interactive Arts division have created and featured animation from Nexus Studios director Jack Cunningham, with a new, free mobile app '1600', which will allow the public to explore the White House using augmented reality (AR) technology. The experience is narrated by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest and tracks a stunningly intricate AR animation off a one-dollar bill.
1600 is an immersive and interactive mobile experience; a beautifully realized animation celebrating the traditional events that unfold each year at the White House. It continues President Obama’s legacy of using digital innovation to increase accessibility to the White House.
All you need to do is open the app '1600' and point your phone at George Washington. Watch as the White House beautifully augments the one-dollar bill and move freely around it in 360 degrees as different events take place in and around the White House.
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.
There are also a number of moments that can only be revealed through exploration; try tapping on the oval office or the White House roof for a hidden surprise.
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.
Nexus Studios was pleased to use Unity as its game engine of choice to develop this animated AR experience #madewithunity.
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".
Effectively, 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. 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.
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