Bernie Sanders Brings Virtual Reality onto the 2016 Campaign Trail

The Associated Press

Democrat presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders has taken his campaign into the realm of virtual reality.

Sanders became the first candidate in the 2016 race (and possibly ever) to have a campaign event filmed in virtual reality, when the folks at Los Angeles-based Virtuality Lab filmed him giving a speech last month to donors at the Hollywood home of Mimi Kennedy and Larry Dilg, reports Variety.

Those with a virtual reality-enabled headset or phone can watch, walk around and listen to Sanders’s speech in glorious 360-degree high-definition. It’s even possible to get a glimpse of Sanders’s speech notes.

Even those without a headset or VR-enabled phone can use the arrows in the top-right corner of the YouTube video (above) to peek around the event, which was held in the Hollywood couple’s front yard last month.

As for the speech, Sanders bolstered his self-described socialist credentials by railing against income inequality in America.

“Where we are today is not in a good place,” Sanders said. “As many of you know, we are looking at grotesque and immoral, and I use that word often, levels of income and wealth inequality. And we gotta bring that out on the table, because it impacts every other aspect of our lives.”

As Variety notes, political junkies with an affinity for virtual reality will soon get to see much more than a Sanders’s campaign speech; several companies are reportedly working to bring the 2016 presidential election debates to a headset near you, and many will use unique VR data, like eye tracking and biometric readings, to provide more advanced voter information to candidates’a campaigns.


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