Barack Obama's farewell address as the President of the United States took an interesting turn, a 360-degree turn to be specific. His speech was streamed live in a 360-degree video for anyone to view on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, all thanks to VRScout.
VRScount, a virtual reality media startup based in Los Angeles, was brought in by the White House to broadcast the very first live 360-degree presidential speech from Chicago.
Outgoing President Obama bid the American public farewell through live streamam which used three Nokia OZO VR cameras which were mounted on tripods and strategically placed around the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago. To provide excellent video and audio quality, the spherical Nokia OZO VR boasts eight cameras and eight microphones. The broadcast was manned by 10 official team members together with Radiant Images, an camera equipment rental company and Vantage.tv, a production team that provides a virtual reality experience for live events.
Owners of the Samsung Gear VR were also tuning into the presidential broadcast using their virtual reality headset. Owners of Daydream, on the other hand, were also able to witness the event through the YouTube app on the Google VR platform.
On the subject of his actual speech, Obama highlighted American democracy. When the crowd showed their disappointing boos on the idea of Donald Trump replacing him, he was quick to note that the smooth transition of authority was a hallmark of American democracy.
Around 18,000 people were physically present during the farewell speech staged at McCormick Place which is currently the largest convention center found in North America. Tickets to the event were handed out for free but tickets were being sold and bought on online sites like eBay and Craigslist for more than five thousand US dollars each a few hours ahead of the scheduled speech.