Google and Mattel are teaming up to relaunch the classic View-Master toy this fall as a virtual reality accessory for smartphones. It's based on the Google Cardboard design but still uses a version of the View-Master reels.
While the original toy used reels of pictures for kids to view in the device for a 3D-like effect, Mattel's new View-Master uses revamped "experience reels", combined with a smartphone, to create an augmented reality experience based on the subject of each reel. The company says:
Mattel's new View-Master offers an easy-to-use and affordable platform that will enable users to take engaging field trips where they can explore famous places, landmarks, nature, planets and more in 360 degree 'photospheres'. By pairing the View-Master's 'experience reel' and app with an Android smartphone, kids will immediately experience an imaginative and interactive learning environment.
The new View-Master will sell for $29.99 and will come with one experience reel, and the company will sell packets of three reels for the device for $14.99. Obviously, you will need an Android smartphone inserted in the View-Master for the experience to work and just like Google Cardboard, virtually any smartphone will do.