Watch The Assassination Attempt of Ronald Reagan in Augmented Reality

by Charles Singletary • December 29th, 2016

Augmented reality presents a lot of ways to innovate by changing how we view our real world.

With AR, apps are evolving the way we access social networks, giving cyclists crucial data while on the move, and companies like Lumus are receiving millions to further evolve the technology. While VR offers immediately recognizable ways to express different narratives, AR doesn’t seem like an obvious place to tell stories. That hasn’t stopped creators from sharing a year of White House events on a dollar bill and, now, studio Superbright has created an AR experience that shows the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan in 1981.


Superbright shared the machinations of the recreation and a bit of the inspiration behind the project. Like the White House AR application, users point their phone’s camera at a dollar bill and are able to watch the attempt as it unfolds. The dollar anchors the experience to a flat surface and you can watch the trajectory of the bullets fired and the chaotic aftermath of the shooting.

“As we built this app, we quickly realized that a crime scene is a natural catalyst for exploration; there was no need to add UI indicators to help users understand that the episode had no boundaries, and that they could view this moment in history from any perspective or angle they’d like,” says Meghan Nelson, executive producer for Superbright, in a press release. “This table-top storytelling technique has so much potential in education, entertainment, and beyond.”

The application was created to accompany a production from National Geographic called “Killing Reagan” that will further explore the assassination attempt with a dramatic re-telling, and is based on the best-selling book of the same name. You can download the application for iOS here.

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