Google teams up with Mattel for VR View-Master reboot

Google has partnered with toymaker Mattel to launch a new virtual reality headset based on ye olde View-Master.

The View-Master was, of course, a toy for children of yore (we’re talking 1939, here) that offered a pseudo-3D experience through a headset that displayed stereoscopic images contained on faux ‘reels’.

Everyone’s favourite search engine giant has decided to drag the View-Master into the 21st century however, by giving it a virtual reality facelift.

Based on the same concept as Google’s Cardboard headset, the new View-Master will offer basic VR on a relatively inexpensive headset.

You’ll be able to access the usual raft of Cardboard-friendly software from your smartphone’s app store, which means that your handset will be acting as the device’s display – tech-free kiddies need not apply.

Google and Mattel will also be flogging their modern take on the old-style View-Master inserts, with the new reels instead offering 360-degree photospheres.

For $14.99 (£9.73), parents will be able to buy their children a set of four reels, each of which will carry themed 360-degree content.

The San Francisco reel, for instance, will let children dart between various fixed viewpoints around San Fran, albeit in full 360-degree VR vision.

Other reels mentioned include Paris, and the solar system. We’re sensing an education angle here…

Related: Best Google Cardboard Apps 2015

The View-Master 2.0 will be available for $29.99 (£19.47) – sans the smartphone, please note – with a sample reel included in the box. It launches in autumn this year.

Google and Mattel have released a video showing off the new View-Master. Check it out:


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