Amidst a mounting trade deal between the U.S. and the EU, President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel today visited the Hannover Messe, an annual trade fair for industrial technology, where they donned a VR headset using a depth sensor touted as ‘the smallest 3D camera in the world’.

After putting on the headset, a Cardboard variant created by German company PMD Technologies (Google’s depth sensing partner for Project Tango) President Obama remarked “It’s a brave new world,” according to a report from Reuters.

The headset features a 3D camera from IMF (affiliate of PMD), which is being touted as ‘the smallest 3D camera in the world’ and heading to mobile telephones in the second half of 2016. To demonstrate the ability of the depth sensor, President Obama and Chancellor Merkel were first shown the camera’s ability via a tablet outfitted with the IMF 3D camera. Displaying color-coded depth information, the world leaders witnessed a real-time manipulation of the data to show several interpolated angles, including a bird’s eye view.

obama merkel depth sensor

After trying out the Google Cardboard headset (complete with lovably stupid googly eyes), President Obama inquired about the depth-sensing VR headset’s potential uses for someone like his daughters, to which an IMF executive responded “…you can scan the room where you are, for example where we are now. You can send it to your daughter and she can share the room with you by wearing the virtual reality glasses, and it would be as if she was here…”

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Before being whisked off to the next booth on the trade floor, President Obama remarked “It’s impressive. Congratulations!”

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • mellott124

    Someone please show him a real HMD.

  • visual

    He thinks google cardboard is impressive? *facepalm*

  • I’d have to agree. This is kinda insulting to *real* VR development that they show him this toy. And considering that the two big players in the field are American companies, and this is gimmicky device is German…. even more insulted.