Obama & Merkel Share a Virtual Reality Experience And Some Laughs


a1One way to make sure an economy is able to remain on top is to make sure that innovation never dies.   America is known for their innovation. From the Model T to the Wright Brothers to, Al Gore inventing the internet (I know…), and more recently Palmer Luckey’s Oculus Rift, we are able to remain one of the most dynamic economies on the planet thanks to hard working, intelligent and capable minds.  This weekend President Barack Obama traveled to Germany, Europe’s largest economic power, to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel.  While Merkel has been one of Obama’s staunchest allies in the region, not all the talk was about international affairs.  The two set aside some time to attend an industrial technology trade show in Hannover, Germany, which also happens to be sponsored by the United States.

While both Obama and Merkel were able to check out all sorts of cool new gadgets, which included ultra-light prosthetic legs, a charger, which can provide a car with 100 miles of range in just 5 minutes, and minicomputers made for vehicle data collection, one gadget which really stood out for both leaders, was a virtual reality headset developed by a German company called Ifm Stiftung.  The headset, which reportedly dubs the world’s smallest 3D camera, also happened to have two cute little bouncy eyes adhered to its exterior, adding some laughs to the situation.

Obama was the first of the two leaders to test out the new device.  After a few seconds of immersion, the President removed his right hand from the headset and reached out in a motion as if he was about to shake someone’s hand.  Apparently what he was seeing in the virtual world was quite a bit different than what those around him were seeing.

“It’s a brave new world,” he exclaimed as he removed the headset from his face.a2

Merkel was next to try on the virtual reality device.  As the German leader moved the headset to her face, President Obama couldn’t help but chuckle at the appearance of the bouncy eyes moving in all directions, appearing as if Merkel was controlling them. Whether these two leaders were impressed by the headset or not, there is one thing for certain, both Merkel and Obama have come a long way and have developed a clear friendship over the last seven years.  Technology is an important part of both the German and American economies and these two leaders seem to have a clear understanding of this.

Let’s hear your thoughts on this story in the Obama / Merkel VR forum on VRTalk.com.