The original View-Master, the stereoscopic toy with cardboard reels to view far off places and 3D, is more than 75 years old. It remains a beloved childhood toy for millions around the world. How does Mattel update this toy and make it interesting for today’s kids with their smartphones and video games?
The answer was to partner up with Google and make a virtual reality headset. The result of their work is the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack. The cardboard image wheels have been replaced with a smartphone app. The phone itself locks into the headset and users can explore the virtual world. The iconic image wheels are still a part of the set, but now they are used as augmented reality platforms for 3D images to coexist in a real world setting.
Features of the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack
- Enjoy an immersive 3D experience with the headset and View-Master apps.
- Works with most Smartphones.
- View-Master wheels serve as augmented reality platforms and access keys for new apps.
- Most Google Cardboard apps are compatible with the View-Master headset.
- Comes with View-Master goggles, one VR reel, and size adapters for iPhone 5.
- Recommended for ages 7 and up
What We Like About the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack
The potential of this product makes it very exciting. High quality 3D environments and augmented reality can provide lots of educational and entertainment value for children.
The View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack is based on Google Cardboard, but is definitely built with a much wider audience. The durable plastic will withstand rough play much better than a small cardboard box. Google partnered with Mattel on the project and the same basic design principles apply. This means users can enjoy apps and games designed for Google Cardboard as well as free stereoscopic 3D features on Google Street View and Youtube with the headset.
The Virtual Reality Starter Pack has only been on the shelves for a short time, but high quality View-Master packs are already available. Top educational publishers such as National Geographic and Discovery Kids have a number of expansion packs available for the View-Master.
What Others Are Saying About View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack
The impressive 3D experience and price point seem to be strong selling points for the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack. At it’s current price, it is much cheaper than other VR headsets of similar quality. It is also about $10 more than Google Cardboard, but is much more sturdy and better designed to be handled by kids.
The common issues with 3D headsets and devices still apply with this device, as everyone’s’ eyes do not have the easiest time to adjust to the image.
The View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack, as a device, is impressive. The build quality and the potential are likely to keep kids and adults entertained for a very long time.
The material available online that is compatible with the device is equally impressive and makes the device a lot of fun when getting used to it. The View-Master preview wheel showcases the full potential of the augmented reality features and they are impressive. Buying an expansion pack or two to get full use of augmented reality may be a good idea as well.