President Obama Makes Virtual-Reality Debut in Tour of Yosemite Valley

PHOTO: President Barack Obama speaks by the Sentinel Bridge in the Yosemite Valley, in front of Yosemite Falls which is the highest waterfall in the park at Yosemite National Park, Calif., June 18, 2016. Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo
President Barack Obama speaks by the Sentinel Bridge in the Yosemite Valley, in front of Yosemite Falls which is the highest waterfall in the park at Yosemite National Park, Calif., June 18, 2016.

Virtual reality is getting the presidential treatment.

Interested in Barack Obama?

Add Barack Obama as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Barack Obama news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
Add Interest

In honor of the centennial celebration of the National Park Service, President Obama is set to make his virtual-reality debut in a video filmed on his family's visit to Yosemite Valley in June.

In a partnership between National Geographic and the virtual-reality company Oculus, viewers get an up-close 3-D, 360-degree experience to bask in some of the country's most scenic views with its most powerful occupant. The piece was directed and produced by Felix & Paul Studios, which was the creative lead behind the experience and used its own technology to shoot and edit the piece.

PHOTO: President Barack Obama speaks to children about the Every Kid in the Park initiative in Yosemite National Park, California, while celebrating the 100th year of US National Parks June 18, 2016.Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
President Barack Obama speaks to children about the "Every Kid in the Park" initiative in Yosemite National Park, California, while celebrating the 100th year of US National Parks June 18, 2016.

In a Facebook post Thursday, Obama called Yosemite "one of the most stunning places I've ever been."

"I get to share that experience with you -- in a 360 degree view," he noted. "Thanks to some high-tech virtual reality cameras, you can stand amid Yosemite's giant sequoia groves or float on Mirror Lake in a canoe. I checked this out for the first time yesterday. It was pretty surreal, like being transported back into the park."

PHOTO: President Obama watches a virtual reality film captured during his trip to Yosemite National Park earlier this year. Pete Souza/White House
President Obama watches a virtual reality film captured during his trip to Yosemite National Park earlier this year.

Obama narrates portions of the video, describing the importance of national parks to generations of Americans. He is also shown talking with a park ranger, joking with a group of children and standing on a bridge with the first daughters and the first lady.

But the Secret Service is notably absent from the videos. That’s because the agents were instructed to hide behind trees in the park, a White House official told ABC News.

PHOTO: President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Sasha and Malia walk through Ahwahnee Meadow after arriving on Marine One June 17, 2016 in Yosemite Valley, California. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Sasha and Malia walk through Ahwahnee Meadow after arriving on Marine One June 17, 2016 in Yosemite Valley, California.

The video, available to download for Oculus users, is also up for viewing in 2-D format on National Geographic's Facebook page. Watch here on your mobile device.

Comments