Obama Takes in Virtual Reality in Germany

When you’re the leader of the free world who has been keeping an eagle eye on liberty and domestic surveillance during the past seven to eight years, sometimes it’s helpful to take a look at a new version of reality.

During his stopover in Germany this past weekend, the commander-in-chief tried on a virtual reality headset with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at an industrial technology trade fair in Hanover, Germany. “[This is a] brave new world,” Obama said.

So what exactly does the president have on his face?

President Obama using VR headset

Obama Tries on VR Headset Technology in Germany

He has a bitmore sophisticated setup than your typical Google Cardboard headset. Check out the camera on the top of the viewer that’s connected to the smartphone, reports Lucas Matney at TechCrunch.com. The manufacturer of the camera,PMD, boasts that the device is the Pico Flexx and is the “world’s smallest 3D camera system.”

The depth-sending camera creates a 3D point cloud of the environment in front of the headset allowing average consumers (like the president) to add hand-tracking to their mobile virtual reality experiences. The company isinterestingly the depth-sensing partner of Google for the Project Tango augmented reality partner, but this product is itsfirst foray into building a platform on Cardboard.

Cardboard may not be the most powerful VR platform, but it is interesting that Obama tried it out. Obama previously has admitted to having a virtual golfing range in the White House. Perhaps when his term as president is over, he can get Oculus or HTC to set him up with a VR golfing experience

…Exploring Chernobyl Via Virtual Reality

In other European-related VR news, a game development studio has created an interactive, virtual reality tour of the grounds of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the nearby abandoned town of Pripyat.

Viewers of the Chernobyl VR project are able to explore freely while a guide explains the history of a particular area, reports BBC News.

The team made multiple trips to Chernobyl and the surrounding exclusion zone to capture thousands of photographs, 3D models and 360 videos in order to recreate an accurate representation of what they saw.

As the area continues to degrade, it is hoped the project will preserve digitally the sites.

Chernobyl was the world’s worst nuclear accident – an explosion and fire at the nuclear power station released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere.

Onward and Upward,

David Bross
for The Daily Reckoning

P.S. Another application for virtual reality, one that I’m sure the president did not see in Germany, involves viewing images that are definitely not presidential and NSFW (not suitable for work). Click here to see a brief video clip of what I’m talking about.

The Daily Reckoning