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Jun 05, 2018 Washington, D.C. —
The White House Historical Association is pleased announce its new free mobile application for both iOS and Android which offers, for the first time ever, virtual educational tours of the White House and surrounding President’s Neighborhood. The app features three separate tour experiences for in-person visitors and those who want to learn about the White House from afar. The app also includes a Presidential Look-Alike feature that allows users to take a selfie to find out which president or first lady they most resemble based on portraits of presidents and first ladies 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,” said First Lady Melania Trump. “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.”
“Since 1962, the White House Historical Association has published the White House Guidebook as part of our education mission inspired by Mrs. Kennedy,” said Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association. “This app is the 21st century evolution of the Guidebook, now in its 24th edition. This state-of-the-art technology tool will increase public access and share the rooms and history of the White House across the country and around the world.”
The app’s three separate tour experiences include information on the furnishings and decorative arts within the State and historic rooms and significant points of interest in the neighborhood.
- Explore the Virtual White House: This is a virtual tour of the White House that includes the East Wing, Family Theater, Library, Vermeil Room, China Room, Diplomatic Reception Room, Map Room, State Floor and the famous rooms of the West Wing including the Oval Office, Cabinet Room and Press Room. The tour also includes several rooms on the upper floors of the residence including the Lincoln Bedroom, the Queen’s Bedroom, the President’s Dining Room and the Treaty Room. Users can take this tour from afar.
- White House Neighborhood Walking Tour: This is a walking tour of the President’s Neighborhood surrounding the White House that includes stops at historic landmarks and buildings in the area such as Decatur House, Lafayette Square, St. John’s Church, Treasury Building, North Lawn, Blair House, Eisenhower Executive Office Building, South Lawn and Ellipse, and the White House Visitor Center, among other fascinating locations. The app also features information on points of interest at the stops. Visitors in Washington, D.C. are offered turn-by-turn navigation to the featured sites.
- White House Companion Tour: This is a room-by-room guide of the White House to accompany those on an in-person tour of the house. This tour also includes information on where visitors should meet to begin the tour and items that are permitted and prohibited during their White House visit.
Each tour allows users to click on featured “Points of Interest” to learn more.
Presidential and First Lady Look-Alike Feature
This feature allows app users to take a selfie to find out which president or first lady they most resemble based on portraits of the presidents and first ladies in the White House Collection. Users can share their results on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The feature is powered by Amazon Rekognition, a deep learning-based image and video analysis tool that compares user-submitted selfie images with images of presidents and first ladies to determine a level of similarity, and then tells a user which president or first lady he or she most resembles.
“We’re thrilled to collaborate with the White House Historical Association to digitize the history of the White House, giving individuals the opportunity to learn about and interact with that content,” said Teresa Carlson, Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector at Amazon Web Services, Inc. “It’s important to find ways to make our nation’s history more accessible to everyone – particularly students – so that they can experience the White House from anywhere in the world. I’m both humbled and proud that at Amazon Web Services, we have the tools that organizations can use to deliver these kinds of experiences to educators, students, and the general public.”
"We're honored to be partnering with the White House Historical Association and Amazon to highlight the deep history of one of America's most recognizable landmarks," said Brendan Ciecko, CEO & founder of Cuseum. “The White House Historical Association’s commitment to engaging their visitors through new digital initiatives is exciting, and we’re proud to power their new mobile app.”
The app also features an outdoor map of the President’s Neighborhood, calendar of upcoming tour events, search function, and links to the White House Historical Association’s White House History Shop and Digital Library.
The White House Experience app is available on iOS and Android and can be downloaded free from the App Store and Play Store, respectively. The White House Experience App is run on the Cuseum digital platform and with support from Amazon Web Services.
The White House Historical Association thanks the White House, National Park Service and the United States Secret Service for their support in launching the White House Experience app. For more information, contact Jessica Fredericks, Communications Director at Jfredericks@whha.org
About the white house historical association
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $45 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.
To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit WhiteHouseHistory.org.