Google really seems to have set the ball rolling with Google Cardboard, its do-it-yourself VR headset that turns your smartphone into a budget Oculus Rift. Now the company has partnered with toy giant Mattel to update the iconic View-Master toy for the 21st century and give your kids a much-needed induction into the world of virtual reality.
The View-Master has been around since 1939, where it debuted at the World’s Fair in New York and has been a regular feature in kids’ toy inventories ever since. If the name doesn’t ring any bells, surely you recall that chunky red plastic pair of binoculars with the interchangeable white cardboard discs that allowed you to click through images of the Taj Mahal/Eiffel Tower/Grand Canyon etc.
Right, well the newest version, while keeping its trademark red colour, has been given a sleek curvy new look and head strap. Like Google Cardboard it is used in conjunction with your smartphone and an app to provide your kids with an unforgettable 360 degree experience.
Perfect as an educational tool, have your little ones transported to far-away places
where they can take guided tours of amazing locales, past and present, all from the comfort of your own home.The ease of access and affordability of these bite-sized VR solutions that Google has been experimenting with seems like a stroke of genius to us. As is the partnership with Mattel. Aside from opening up many new avenues for popularising the technology, it’s also an opportunity to get a much younger demographic familiar with the exploration of virtual worlds.
The new Mattel View-Master will retail for an extremely affordable $30, and is sure to be a resounding success.