Google has unveiled a new interactive online exhibit that take users on a tour of 10 Downing street in London — home of the U.K. Prime Minister.
The building has served as home to countless British political leaders, from Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher through to Tony Blair and — as of a few months ago — Theresa May. But, as you’d expect in today’s security-conscious age, gaining access to the residence isn’t easy; the street itself is gated off from the public. This is why the 10 Downing Street exhibit may capture the imagination of politics aficionados and history buffs from around the world.
The tour features 360-degree views of the various rooms, punctuated by photos and audio and video clips.
But the purpose of exhibitions like this is also to promote the burgeoning medium of virtual reality (VR). With that in mind, the Arts & Culture app on Android and iOS is working in conjunction with a 360-degree viewer (such as Google Cardboard) to make the experience a little more life-like. And yes, we know this isn’t strictly VR; it’s perhaps better described as a 360-degree immersive video that uses a phone’s sensors to detect which way your head is facing to alter the view.
Google Arts & Culture, formerly known as the Google Cultural Institute, is the Google arm responsible for working with cultural bodies and other organizations to bring notable exhibits and points of interest to the internet. In the past, this has included documenting the history of cinema, Nelson Mandela’s time in prison, the fall of the Iron Curtain, and more. Just this week, the internet giant partnered with dozens of natural history museums to bring long-extinct worlds to the web.
This post by Paul Sawers originally appeared on VentureBeat. Paul is a London-based technology journalist covering news, startups, and all things tech from around the world at VentureBeat.