A new View
About 75 years after the introduction of the first View-Master, Mattel has unveiled the newest version -- just in time for New York's annual North American International Toy Fair.
Mattel plans to start selling the new View-Master in October. The prototype shown here isn't a working model.
Visiting new places and spaces
The new toy can take viewers on immersion tours of all kinds of new venues, similar to the old View-Master, which showed images of landmarks and scenery.
Google's newest Cardboard partner
The View-Master is the latest example of Google's virtual-reality Cardboard technology in new apps and devices. Earlier this week, LG announced a promotion to use a Cardboard-based headset for its flagship G3 smartphone.
Inside the demo room
At an event in New York City on Friday, Google and Mattel gave reporters an early look at the new View-Master.
A smartphone inside
With a working prototype of the View-Master not yet available, Mattel used a Google Cardboard headset -- which is made of cardboard -- to show off View-Master's capabilities. Here, a Nexus 5 smartphone is used as the display, offering a stereoscopic view of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.
The new reels
The old View-Master used circular reels of images showing landscapes or scenery. When looked at through a new View-Master, a menu of 3D images pop up out of the new reels, which then take users to 360-degree pictures.
These reels aren't actually necessary -- you could instead just download new images -- but they offer a useful nod to the View-Master's long history.
A look inside
Viewing inside the Cardboard prototype, I could look all around me and click through to different views of places, like when I jumped from outside Alcatraz to inside a cell on the former island prison.
Taking a virtual tour
Here is CNET's Bridget Carey giving the View-Master prototype a try.
Several of the new reels for the new View-Master have pictures from decades past that were used in older versions of the toy, such as the solar-system reel that includes old pictures of astronauts on the moon.
A historical look
The View-Master was first introduced at the 1939 World's Fair in New York.
A series of displays at Friday's event show how many iterations the View-Master went through over the decades.
The next step for the toy
While View-Master may have been a must-have item decades ago, it hasn't been of much interest for today's kid. Mattel is hoping to change that with the new View-Master.
This new product may just be the start. The company plans to use more technology in its products to keep its toys and board games fresh in the Digital Age.