For a dollar bill, you can get a cool AR view of life in the White House

Have you ever wanted to visit the White House? A new app — created for the White House Historical Society by PTC’s Vuforia team, in coordination with Unity and Nexus Studios — hopes to give everyone that opportunity.

All they need is a smartphone running iOS or Android and a single dollar bill.

Upon placing the dollar bill in front of your smartphone’s camera, the app makes the bill come alive with animations. At first, the numbers start to move. Then, the White House appears right before your eyes.

Marine One, the iconic helicopter that transports the President around Washington DC, lands on the White House lawn. The President gives a speech in the Rose Garden, guests roll Easter Eggs across the grass, and more.

This all happens in augmented reality through the app on your smartphone.

A narrated history of the “People’s House”

Josh Earnest, the Press Secretary of the current Obama administration, narrates a brief history lesson about the nation’s most iconic house. He talks briefly about the importance of the White House, and its symbolic significance to the country’s history.

As he narrates, you see different events occurring on screen. Speeches, seasonal gatherings, and even a thunderstorm roll through, seamlessly transitioning from one scene to another.

All that is required to view the augmented reality scene is a flat surface, a smartphone, and a dollar bill. The app takes care of the rest.

It’s a similar experience to the Nintendo DS’ AR Card system. It is very good at recognizing the dollar bill and leaping into action. There are some interactive elements to it, including the ability to tap (on the screen) various parts of the White House to get a glimpse inside. The Oval Office is perhaps the most interesting. If you tap the main section of the house, Secret Service agents appear on the rooftop.

The app does require access to your smartphone’s camera, and you will likely be prompted to accept that access in order to access the app.

1600 is available for free on iOS 8.0+ and Android 4.0+.

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