Earlier this month Mattel sent invites to an event where they and Google would make a joint announcement. Speculation was rife that it would be some sort of new View-Master device that would bring the old View-Master classic into the 21st century.
76 years after the first View-Master was unveiled, the new View-Master sports some of Google Cardboard-based virtual reality. While the reels from the classic device were lined with tiny photographs, the new version's "reels" instead unlock digital VR content.
With a smartphone inserted into the View-Master and the View-Master app running on the phone. You can check out popular destinations and buildings in 3D just as you did on the old reel cards back in 1939.
Many of the experiences will be accessible through actual reel cards, though not the traditional click to switch” reels from the old days. They work as augmented reality cards to give you a whole new view of interesting places.
Mattel will also use imagery from their archive of reels to bring you classic View-Master content. Since the enclosure supports a smartphone we're not yet sure if any virtual reality app configured to work with Google Cardboard will work?
The headsets will retail for only $29.99, and reel cards come in packs of four for $14.99. Certainly a very inexpensive way to introduce your kids to virtual reality technology, assuming you already have a smartphone.
The View-Master headset and reel cards will be available fall of 2015. But that is just in time for Christmas!
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