Virtual Reality Hits the Presidential Campaign Trail

Bernie Sanders Virtual Reality 360

In the United States presidential election of 2012, candidates went all in on big data analysis and social media to help them stand out from other candidates and bring highly targeted messages to voters around the country. For next year’s election it is expected that virtual reality will join the array of innovations candidates will most likely utilize to strike a more emotional chord with constituents and add to the breadth of data measured to improve content and messaging.

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has jumped into VR with the release of what may be the first 360-degree video from the campaign trail.

The latest six-minute video from a campaign fundraiser shows Sanders delivering a speech from a podium in front of a backyard of supporters. The event was hosted at the house of Mimi Kennedy and Larry Dilg, a couple known in Hollywood for their dedication to progressive causes.

Sanders was approached by Los Angeles-based VR studio Virtuality Lab to film the event and agreed to participate in this latest VR campaign trail test shoot.

Virtuality Lab has made the video available on both YouTube and VR video platform Vrideo. Those interested can watch on either platform whether or not you have Google Cardboard, Samsung’s GearVR, or desktop.

The latest 360-degree video from the Sanders campaign trail is likely the first glimpse of virtual reality use cases leading up to presidential elections next year. Although immersive video content like that of the Sanders video can give a more intimate look at presidential candidates, other VR companies like and are looking to provide additional value to campaign analysis and content. is looking to utilize virtual reality headsets for advanced analytics with eye tracking, biometric data, sensors, and live polling functionality to help monitor viewer reactions of candidate speeches/commercials. is reportedly planning to stream the presidential debates in 360-degrees.

With virtual reality headsets from Oculus, HTC, and Sony all set to get in the hands of consumers as the presidential elections hit full stride next year, we can expect many more candidates and research firms to jump in quickly.


One thing is for sure, maybe now we can take a peek at what notes candidates have scribbled on their hands or written down behind that podium.

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of VRScout.

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