View-Master dirches the paper discs for virtual reality
J Thoendell stashed this in Tech
Mattel wants to make virtual reality kid-friendly. The company's been trying to bring its toys into the digital age for the last year or so. Barbie received a speech-recognition makeover; a plush Smart Toy learned how to talk; and earlier this year, the toymaker announced it would leverage Google's Cardboard technology to revamp its iconic View-Master. The new iteration of the viewer was expected to offer an introductory virtual reality experience at an affordable price. Now as the viewer makes its way to shelves this month, the company has unveiled the 360-degree experiences that are designed to be a child's first brush with virtual reality.
The View-Master starter kit includes a shiny red viewer that's equipped with a slot for a wide range of smartphones (including the iPhone 6 Plus and Nexus 6) and a preview reel collectively priced at $30. There are three VR experience packs, in reel or app form, to choose from. Each pack can be bought for an additional $15 and has been carefully constructed for kids age seven and up. Mattel brought in the expertise of NASA and National Geographic for its space and wildlife packs, respectively, while the destinations experience has been captured on-site with a 360-degree camera.