Google and Mattel recently announced a partnership that left many scratching their heads. What would a classic toy company and a tech giant be doing together? Today brings us the answer in the form of the View-Master VR headset. Mattel and Google have resurrected the famous View-Master and are bringing it up to modern times by incorporating virtual reality capabilities.
The new View-Master works in the same way as Google Cardboard, requiring you to slide in a smartphone in order to experience virtual reality. The classic reels still remain, but in a different way. Using Mattel’s View-Master app, the user of the View-Master will set the reel on a flat surface and look at it, which triggers the View-Master to load up the scene enabled by that reel.
The scenes that appear are an augmented reality experience, somewhat similar to a Photosphere, yet with more depth. Users can interact with different areas of the scene to get a closer look at certain aspects or go inside buildings. Helpful bits of information and facts will appear to make the View-Master more educational, and Mattel will use animations and sound to enhance the experience.
The View-Master VR headset will be an interesting experiment. While it will likely draw in a new, younger audience that may use it for educational purposes, there are others, like myself, who will seek a bit of nostalgia in purchasing the View-Master, as the original View-Master played a large part in the childhoods of many.
The View-Master will be available this fall for a price of $29.99. Additional reels will sell in packs of four for $14.99.