NBC’s Al Roker to host VR election event

AltspaceVR's Democracy Plaza. (Image courtesy AltspaceVR and NBC News.)

AltspaceVR’s Democracy Plaza. (Image courtesy AltspaceVR and NBC News.)

This year’s presidential election will be conducted, in part, in virtual reality.

A partnership between NBC News and AltspaceVR is transforming a virtual recreation of New York’s Rockefeller Center Plaza into Democracy Plaza, where AltspaceVR users can attend debate watch parties, live discussions with political experts and political comedy events.

The event can be accessed in virtual reality with an Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or Samsung Gear VR headset, as well as with a desktop application on a Mac or PC.

NBC News is the first major network to invest in creating a series of live events to cover the US election for an audience inside of virtual reality, the company said.

AltspaceVR's Democracy Plaza. (Image courtesy AltspaceVR and NBC News.)

AltspaceVR’s Democracy Plaza. (Image courtesy AltspaceVR and NBC News.)

NBC picked AltspaceVR because it allows an unlimited number of participants to simultaneously attend a virtual reality event through its “FrontRow” technology.

“For the grand opening event, attendees will be only a few feet away from Today’s Al Roker in virtual reality and can interact with him in a live Q&A session,” an NBC spokesperson told Hypergrid Business.

Some events will also be live streamed to YouTube, the spokesperson added. “But not all events. For example, the debate watch parties will not be streamed.”


Democracy Plaza event schedule:

  • September 21, 6:00 p.m. Eastern time: Opening Event — unveiling ceremony with Al Roker
  • September 26, 8:30 p.m. Eastern time: Debate Watch Party and audience vote and after party
  • September 29, 12:30 p.m. Eastern time: Ask the political expert — Q&A with Steve Kornacki
  • October 4, 8:30 p.m. Eastern time: V.P. Debate Watch Party
  • October 9, 8:30 p.m. Eastern time: Debate Watch Party
  • October 11, 7:00 p.m. Eastern time: Conversation with CNBC’s Sharon Epperson
  • October 19, 8:30 p.m. Eastern time: Debate Watch Party
  • November 8, 6:00 p.m. Eastern time: Live Election Night coverage

Watch the live stream of Al Roker’s unveiling ceremony below:

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Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

2 Responses

  1. amy88smith@yahoo.com' Lani Global says:

    Oculus Rift inventor Palmer Luckey is funding Trump’s racist meme machine

    • dharmalittle456@aol.com' Dharma Little says:

      And people are not allowed to have a private political view and beliefs? is not generalizing very stereotypicaly trying to alienate someone one for exercising those rights of ‘ racist meme machine’ a raciest of freedom in itself?.
      Yes,Palmer Luckey votes and backs a candidate he chooses that should not be news or entitlement to discriminate regardless of political party or candidate.
      personally, i think everyone in the states should have to have the U.S Constitution memorized word by word and before voting take a test to determine if they truly understand what the founding fathers meant for us as a society and what they warned us not to become.

      And no i am not voting for ether candidate, America has hundreds of other political parties to support besides what the media provides to please its paid sponsors and advertisers.