If you can remember some of those ancient products that entertained us long before the age of the smartphone, you’ll no doubt recall the View-Master. An iconic, binocular-like device, you would hold it up against your eyes and scroll through a set of enchanting frames, giving the impression of virtual reality. Times have changed dramatically in the last couple of years, though, with a number of companies dabbling in the field of head-mounted tech, and after carrying the flag for so long with Glass, Google will team up with Mattel while using its innovative Cardboard VR tech to re-create a modern-day View-Master.
Known as the View-Master Sizzle, it won’t be expensive nor complicated, rather a revamped, updated take on the original product, paying homage to an undeniable classic. Whereas the original View-Master operated completely manually, the VR edition offers the fanciful visual effects via a connected smartphone running the Mattel app.
Some may argue that the cardboard reels were an integral part of the wider experience of using the View-Master, and thankfully, it seems that Mattel agrees. Not forgetting its roots, the reels will also retail for the Sizzle, and will be sold in packs of four at the cost of $14.99.
The idea of the reels is to create "360-degree photospheres," as per a report over at USA Today, which will take the form of virtual tours of cities and locations across the world using nothing more than the View-Master.
As somebody that grew up prior to the Digital Age, I am as excited as anybody that the View-Master is back for a second innings, and while Mattel apparently wants to create exciting new experiences with the photospheres, Google is also looking to appeal to a younger audience. As such, Mattel’s vast collection of licensed content – including the likes of Star Wars – will come in very handy, and we can hardly wait for the second-coming of the View-Master.
The View-Master Sizzle will retail at $29.99, which certainly isn’t a bad price, and whether you’re enticed by the panoramic photospheres, feeling nostalgic or both, this is one drop you won’t to miss!
For more details, point your browser to: view-master.com. And we’ll keep you updated on the View-Master Sizzle’s arrival, so stay tuned!