This app lets you take a virtual tour of the White House

Posted at 3:46 PM, Jun 06, 2018

Starting this week, visitors won't have to go to the White House to tour it.

The White House Historical Association announced on Tuesday the launch of a new mobile app giving people -- including on-site visitors who want more background information -- the opportunity to get virtual educational tours of the White House and surrounding president's neighborhood.

Stewart McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association, described the app as the "21st century evolution of the White House Guidebook."

The three separate tour experiences include: exploring the virtual White House -- to see the East Wing, Family Theater, Library, Vermeil Room, China Room, Diplomatic Reception Room, Map Room, State Floor, the Oval Office, Cabinet Room and Press Room; doing the White House neighborhood walking tour -- with stops at Decatur House, Lafayette Square, St. John's Church, the Treasury Building, North Lawn, Blair House, Eisenhower Executive Office Building, South Lawn and Ellipse, and the White House Visitor Center; and the White House Companion tour, a room-by-room guide of the White House for people who are in Washington, DC, taking a physical tour already.

There is also an interactive component to the app: Users can use the "Presidential Look-Alike" feature, where they take a selfie to find out which US president or first lady they most resemble based on portraits in the White House collection.

"I am so pleased that the White House Historical Association has taken these forward-thinking steps to offer more opportunities for the American people to visit the People's House," first lady Melania Trump said in a statement. "Thank you to the White House Historical Association, Amazon Web Services, and Cuseum for their creative and innovative collaboration in designing this app. Whether people are visiting in-person or virtually, this new feature offers a chance for everyone to see many of the mansion's wonderful and historic rooms -- including the residence, the East Wing, and the West Wing."

This is not the first time the White House has tapped into the tech world with an app.

In 2016, the Obama administration launched the "1600" app. Users would point their smartphone cameras at a dollar bill and an interactive 3D video of the White House would pop up, narrated by then-White House press secretary Josh Earnest.