The ViewMaster is back – virtual reality for kids is here! Google and toy maker Mattel are creating a new version of the classic View-Master toy, using Google’s smartphone-based VR solution, Cardboard. The plastic viewer pairs up with your smartphone and can explore virtual reality environments, make three-dimensional dinosaurs appear in the real world or – in classic fashion – transport yourself to faraway places and historical monuments. The new VR toy is predicted to be one of the top Christmas toys for 2015.
The new ViewMaster is a polished version of Google Cardboard. A downloadable VR app does all the magic, splitting your phone screen into two images that, when viewed together, create the 3-D effect. A magnetic button on the side lets you cycle through images or interact with your environment.
Similar to its predecessor — which was popular with children in the 1960s, 70s and 80s — this View-Master is geared toward family use. Small adjusters inside the device will fit any parent’s smartphone. And the VR app is meant to be used without full Internet access.
The VR ViewMaster is set to launch in October 2015 and is priced around $30. The VR toy works with a smartphone placed inside it, to be used as the display. Mattel intends to make it work with both iPhones and Android smartphones.
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