Mattel's latest VR View-Master has focus controls and headphones
Nostalgia fans were delighted when Mattel re-invented the View-Master stereoscope as a virtual reality and augmented reality viewer in 2015. This year, however, they've stepped things up another notch and brought several improved features to the system.
The View-Master, first released in 1939, used high-quality images to take the viewer to a different scene. At the time of its release at the New York World's Fair initial views were of the Grand Canyon and Carlsbad Caverns.
At this year's New York Toy Fair the company refreshed the View-Master, which is based on Google Cardboard. Users are able to slide a phone into the revamped children's toy and can view augmented reality scenes using the company's app and all other virtual reality situations through their phone.
The View-Master Viewer DLX, which will go on sale later this year for around $40, has improved optical lenses, focal adjustment and a headphone connector. The focus wheel allows for the user to improve clarity of the smartphone's picture, by adjusting the lenses.
Mattel rebooted the View-Master in 2015 bringing the toy up to speed with modern technology. A number of VR and AR applications are already available specifically designed for the system, including star maps, tours of the solar system, and a guide around the Tower of London. Keeping the product's original feature the company created physical reels that can be placed on a surface and seen in three dimensions using augmented reality.
The device works with iPhone models going back to the iPhone 5, most recent Samsung Galaxy devices, and other Android phones.