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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

We can deliver DIP N PAY JP54,JET A1,D2,FOB @Rotterdam CRUDE OIL CIF /DIP N PAY TANKFARM CHINA ,we have sellers that can work based on st...

JSafra Bank

Google+ and Blogger cozy up with new comment system

Read more

JP54,D2, D6, JetA1 EN590Dear Buyer/ Buyer mandate,We currently have Available FOB Rotterdam/Houston for JP54,D2, D6,JetA1 with good and w...

Collins Johnson

Oath to fully acquire Yahoo7 from Seven West Media

Read more

Great content and well explained. Everything you need to know about Digital Design, this article has got you covered. You may also check ...

Ryota Miyagi

Why the art of human-centred design has become a vital CX tool

Read more

Interested in virtual events? If you are looking for an amazing virtual booth, this is definitely worth checking https://virtualbooth.ad...

Cecille Pabon

Report: Covid effect sees digital events on the rise long-term

Read more

Thank you so much for sharing such an informative article. It’s really impressive.Click Here & Create Status and share with family

Sanwataram

Predictions: 14 digital marketing predictions for 2021

Read more

Blog Posts

A Brand for social justice

In 2020, brands did something they’d never done before: They spoke up about race.

Dipanjan Chatterjee and Xiaofeng Wang

VP and principal analyst and senior analyst, Forrester

Determining our Humanity

‘Business as unusual’ is a term my organisation has adopted to describe the professional aftermath of COVID-19 and the rest of the tragic events this year. Social distancing, perspex screens at counters and masks in all manner of situations have introduced us to a world we were never familiar with. But, as we keep being reminded, this is the new normal. This is the world we created. Yet we also have the opportunity to create something else.

Katja Forbes

Managing director of Designit, Australia and New Zealand

Should your business go back to the future?

In times of uncertainty, people gravitate towards the familiar. How can businesses capitalise on this to overcome the recessionary conditions brought on by COVID? Craig Flanders explains.

Craig Flanders

CEO, Spinach

Sign in