Obama's Farewell Speech In 360° Livestream

Obama's Farewell Speech In 360° Livestream
January 5, 2017

President Barack Obama is going out with an innovative twist as his farewell address Jan. 10 will be the first presidential address to be broadcast live in 360-degree video.


VRScout, a Los Angeles-based virtual reality-media company, will be on hand at President Obama’s farewell address in Chicago to broadcast the live 360-degree version of the speech. The White House confirmed the broadcast and the inaugural live virtual-reality video to MarketWatch.


Ryan Bell, head of studio at VRScout, said he spoke with White House representatives beginning in October about the immersive broadcast. This is the largest event thus far for the company, which was founded in January 2015, and Bell said they view the virtual-reality broadcast as the next step in presidential media.


“We look at it as similar to the first time a president was put on television or a president was put on the radio,” Bell said.


The farewell address is scheduled to take place the evening of Jan. 10 at McCormick Place, a convention center in Chicago.


For the broadcast, VRScout partnered with camera rental and production company Radiant Images and with virtual-reality company vantage.tv. The company will be working with those partners to shoot the speech with Nokia Ozo virtual reality cameras.


VR Scout hopes to have three cameras at the speech so the company can shoot from different vantage points and switch between feeds. The company plans to live broadcast the address under its social media handle on Facebook Live FB, +0.04%Twitter TWTR, +1.36% and YouTube.


Bell said the company hopes to make the footage viewable through the Samsung Gear VR headset as well. The entire production will involve about 10 people, including four people inside the convention center during the speech.


After the live broadcast, the footage will be edited and enhanced for future viewings, Bell said.


President Obama had previously entered the virtual-reality realm with a 360-degree video at Yosemite National Park.

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