With a little help from Google, Mattel has brought back its classic View-Master toy, putting a modern spin on it to create an affordable VR headset that is suitable for children.
Mattel's View-Master VR has the same design of the original—including the orange lever located on the side—but it is now powered by Google's Cardboard platform to provide the VR experience. The user must snap their smartphone into the headset, which features bi-convex lenses to look through, to experience a blend of augmented and virtual reality.
For those who are familiar with Google Cardboard, this is a sturdier gadget that will only cost you $30.
The View-Master VR gadget is compatible with iOS and Android, and consumers can purchase an Experience Pack separately for $15. The pack comes with three virtual reality experiences that include a look at space, destinations and wildlife.
The user simply downloads the associated app, scans the NFC-enabled pack card and places the smartphone into the headset. The world then comes alive around the user, showing 360-degree views. Users click on the orange lever to select an area.
This device isn't as sophisticated as Microsoft's HoloLens, however. Users won't be able to explore the virtual world by physically walking around, but at least that means its safe for children to use without destroying the house.
Mattel's View-Master VR headset is now available for a retail price of $30.