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Augmented Reality App Turns The $1 Dollar Bill into Tour of The White House

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Spend that dollar on an animated tour through White House history.

The White House Historical Foundation just made visiting the most famous building in the U.S. much easier, as well as much cheaper. Thanks to a partnership between the prestigious foundation and UK-based developers Nexus Studios, you can download the free 1600 app on iOS & Android and take a look through some famous white house traditions today!

The augmented reality experience comes with full narration as viewers are guided through several special White House events from the annual Easter Egg Roll to the changing of the seasons. Move around the building, lean in close and peer around corners to inspect every little detail and discover hidden easter eggs.

The augmented reality app is simple to use: Just lay out a single dollar bill on a flat surface and open the app. Point the camera at your bill and watch as a low poly rendition of the famous 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue residence sprouts from your hard-earned cash. Honestly the hardest part of this whole procedure is finding a dollar that isn’t a wrinkled mess. A crumpled bill leads to a very wonky experience…

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In an interview with The Verge, White House Director of Product Joshua Miller stated, “We don’t want it to feel too much like a homework assignment from your fifth-grade teacher. We want it to feel fun, like a game.”

While the app may be simple, it’s a great example of how augmented reality is a perfect educational tool that’s not only informative and engaging, but entertaining as well. After the massive popularity of other recent AR applications like Pokemon Go and with more sure-to-be hits on the way, such as the still-possible Harry Potter AR game, you’ll certainly be seeing more and more of these augmented experiences on iOS and Android in the coming months.

Augmented reality is quickly proving to be as useful as its sister technology, virtual reality. The possibilities that come from mixing the virtual world with our own reality are endless and it’s beyond thrilling to see this budding industry get such massive support from entertainment properties and the federal government. Hopefully more classrooms begin to employ this type of learning that allows students to not only view history, science and technology in a new way, but actually interact with it in a meaningful way.

About the Scout

Kyle Melnick

Kyle is a writer for VRScout also working in new media production. He's also a part-time bounty hunter.

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