Watch the White House Come to Life in New App

09 December, 2016

Most people will never get a chance to go inside the White House, the famous home of the president of the United States.

But new application software can bring the White House to life for anyone with a telephone equipped for computer programs.

To experience this famous building, you just need your smartphone and an American one dollar bill.

The new 3D app 1600 brings the White House to life using a smartphone. (
The new 3D app 1600 brings the White House to life using a smartphone. (

The new app is called 1600, which makes one think of the real street address of the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, in Washington, D.C.

The 1600 app uses augmented reality in the same way as the virtual reality game Pokemon Go. The app creates a small version of the White House on your smartphone. After downloading it, just point the camera on the phone at a dollar bill to start the experience.

The dollar then transforms into a three dimensional (3D) model of the White House before your eyes. It creates images having length, width and height. When the smartphone is moved around, the images of the building also change.

U.S. President Barack Obama's Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, provides commentary as part of the app. He provides historical information about the White House, talks about how the building is used today and describes some events held there.

The app shows some of the changes on the White House grounds throughout the year. You can watch the Easter Egg Roll in springtime and see a state arrival ceremony for a foreign leader.

There is even a hidden surprise to catch if you touch on the president's Oval Office.

"We hope you enjoy and share this new way of taking a peek inside the White House," Earnest said on

The new app is the latest way the Obama administration has used technology as an educational tool. This time it gives people all over the world the chance to virtually visit the "People's House."

First Lady Michelle Obama has said the White House is also called the "People's House" because it is a place where all people should feel welcome.

I'm Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

Try this app out and let us know what you think! Write to us in the Comments section, and visit 51VOA.COM.


Words in This Story

application – n. a computer program that performs a special action, especially on a smartphone

virtual – adj. very close to being something without actually being it

augmented reality – n. technology that projects virtual objects in a real world environment that can be viewed through a device

transform – n. to change completely from one thing into another

peek – n. a brief look

addressn. a place where a person or organization may be communicated with; directions for how to find someone or something