Who never tried View-Master? Maybe you don’t know its name, but surely, looking at the images of this article, something will come in your mind. Presented for the first time in 1939 at the World’s Fair in New York, this toy headset accompanied generations of children, surprising them with its 3D images. In the past, this seemed pure sci-fi; today, on the other hand, it’s like prehistory of technology, and in fact Google and Mattel created a partnership to modernize the toy viewer. How? With Augmented Reality, of course!
The new View-Master will run on the Google Cardboard platform and will have special contents in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality for children and families. The two companies, which gave in last days the news of the production of the new 3D stereoscope, said that the headset would work with any type of smartphone on any operating system.
Obviously, some changes have been made to the original device: the images disks are now “Experience Reels”, and they’re not inserted directly in the viewer but they just remain in front of the user. What is inserted in the headset is instead our smartphone, with which we’ll aim at the reels. The famous View-Master’s side button, that in the original device was used to roll the disks, now is used to choose the options that will appear in front of our eyes once we focus on the Experience Reel.
As you can see in the video below, this will immerse us in a unique, highly interactive experience.
View-Master will work also with all the other Google Cardboard apps, that you can download here.
Another surprise is the price: since View-Master is basically just a plastic phone holder, the device is only $29.99 (with one experience reel included); the Experience Reels will be sold in multiple packs for $15.
It seems that View-Master will be released next October.