One of the most popular retro childhood toys just received a major upgrade!
The beloved View-Master, which has been around in one form or another since it debuted at New York’s World Fair in 1939, has undergone a huge change and is now joining the world of virtual-reality gaming.
Over the past couple of decades, the popularity of the View-Master has declined because so many high-tech gadgets had come along to compete. Toy company Mattel finally decided to change that by partnering with Google to update the classic toy. Now, the View-Master has become a tool for virtual reality fantasy and game play.Similar in some ways to the popular Oculus Rift gaming device, the new and improved View-Master resembles the style of the older model, but with a thicker, more modern feel. To play it, you simply download the View-Master app onto your phone and then connect your phone to the device.
Designed for ages 7 and up, this new technology opens up doors for both entertainment and education. With it you can take virtual field trips to far away places and learn interesting new facts as you play. For instance, the San Francisco tour takes you to popular tourist attractions like Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. You can also go back in time to when the dinosaurs roamed the earth and see the ancient lizards up close. As you view the 360-degree photography around you, informational texts will pop up to tell you more about what you are seeing.
This partnership between Mattel and Google is still fairly new, but even more exciting things are planned for the near future. For instance, Mattel plans to add even more gaming features to the new View-Master, including fun interactive treasure hunts for kids. The company plans to integrate old photography footage from the toy’s archives, so classic favorites will likely be available as well.
Right now the toy is only compatible with Android phones, but that is set to change before the item hits store shelves later this year.