Mattel, Google bring virtual reality to classic View-Master

Instead of just static 3D images, the new View-Master headset will provide an interactive 360-degree experience

Mattel and Google's View-Master (3)

Mattel and Google's View-Master (3)

On a cold day in New York, Google and Mattel summoned warm memories of childhood when they unveiled a modern take on the iconic View-Master toy.

Instead of just displaying 3D pictures, the next-generation View-Master headset will allow kids to go on interactive virtual reality experiences such as 360-degree tours of planets, undersea adventures or fly-by tours of famous sites or cities.

The new View-Master is based on Google's Cardboard virtual reality technology, and stereoscopic video will be delivered through "experience reels." For example, users will be able to walk into Alcatraz to see what it's like, or take a short road trip around San Francisco. The virtual reality images combine photos and computer graphics.

"As I'm holding this thing, I'm thinking it's View-Master, but View-Master of the future," said Richard Dickson, president and chief brands officer at Mattel, at a New York press event Friday on the eve of the Toy Fair.

A Google team worked with Mattel to develop a product concept over about five months, Dickson said.

The first View-Master was introduced in 1940, and Mattel has ambitious plans for the new virtual reality headset. It plans to develop more interactive content, as well as longer videos, said Doug Wadleigh, senior vice president of global brands at Mattel.

Images for the new product are also being pulled from Mattel's old View-Master database dating back to 1940. It will also add more interactive games.

Stereoscopic reels can be purchased through a smartphone application. Mattel will also sell stereoscopic reels with virtual images for $15 each. The new View-Master initially works with Android phones, but eventually with iPhones as well.

Google's Cardboard, introduced last year, is a decidedly low-tech virtual reality kit. Users assemble cardboard into a headset, insert lenses in the viewfinder slot, and finally, put a smartphone in the front. Users can then view 3D images from Youtube, Google Earth and others via Google's Cardboard mobile app.

The View-Master will support the existing Cardboard application, but the View-Master app provides access to more kid-friendly video reels, Dickson said.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Googlehardware systemsvirtual reality

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?