Ever wondered what it’s like to experience virtual reality? For those who don’t know, virtual reality (VR), or otherwise known as immersive multimedia, allows users to simulate the real world – or even a fantasy one – through the aid of computer-generated visual effects. Not just that, VR could also simulate other sensory experiences such as touch, taste and sounds. For gamers, this could elevate the current scenario 3 times fold the excitement!
So if you’re a VR enthusiast, good news for you: Just recently, Google and Mattel have partnered together to revive an old gadget that the latter produced years ago – the View-Master that was released some time back in the 60’s. The toy resembles a large headgear with a binocular display, and with the cardboard reels, users can view realistic 3D HQ images of places and tourist attractions.
With this recent partnership, the two companies hope to revamp that old tech into the 21st century, and Mattel plans to tap the power of smartphones to accomplish this feat. When a phone runs the View-Master app, users could look through the headgear on their phone’s screen and see a 3D image of the real world (augmented reality) or a whole new 3D environment (virtual reality). To achieve this, users can purchase separate cardboard reels that can be previewed through updates from the app.
According to Mattel, the all-new View-Master could be an easy and affordable platform that will enable users to be immersed in virtual field trips in famous places with a more realistic touch. Doug Wadleigh, Mattel’s SVP and General Manager says, “View-Master has alway been about one thing, and that is letting consumers explore their world.”
Users can purchase the app and a sample reel this coming fall for $29.99. The sample will include a gallery of previous View-Master photos as well as a journey-into-space add-on. Eventually, Mattel would release additional experience reel set packs separately with a price of $14.99 at retail shops. Each reel comes with different themes; and with the downloadable updates, users may be able to peek at an augmented reality teaser of the disk’s content.
It seems that Virtual and Augmented Reality will become a trend in the coming few years. In fact, Google and Mattel aren’t the only ones to dive into this relatively new field. We’ve already had Oculus acquired by Facebook for $2 Billion, HoloLens unveiled by Microsoft and just recently, Samsung and Sony have also came up with similar VR projects. With the current scale of development, it will be no wonder that within 3 to 5 years, Virtual Reality will become everyone’s new obsession.