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Obama spends a little time in the ‘brave new world’ of virtual reality

TechCrunch TechCrunch 25/04/2016 Lucas Matney

When you’re the leader of the free world who has been keeping an eagle eye on liberty and domestic surveillance for the past 7-8 years, sometimes you just want to take a look at a new version of reality.

Obama tried virtual reality this weekend with his occasional frenemy Angela Merkel at an industrial technology trade fair in Hanover, Germany. He reportedly reacted to that the technology by saying that it was a “brave new world.”

What exactly does he have on his face here?

He’s rocking a bit more of a sophisticated setup than your typical Google Cardboard headset. Check out the camera on the top of the viewer that’s connected to the smartphone. The manufacturer of the camera, PMD, boasts that the device is the pico flexx 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 Barack Obama to add hand-tracking to their mobile virtual reality experiences. The company is interestingly the depth-sensing partner of Google for the Project Tango augmented reality partner, but this product is their first foray into building a platform on Cardboard.

Cardboard may not be the most powerful VR platform, but it’s very cool to see the Prez take it for a whirl. Obama has previously admitted to having a virtual golfing range in the White House, perhaps in his retired years he can get old Oculus or HTC to get him all set up with a VR golfing experience.

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