Mattel's View-Master evolves for virtual reality

Culture
Play time now centers around a parent's smart phone. I'm Bridget Carey, and this is your C Net update. Mattel and Google have teamed up. To give a high-tech upgrade to the classic View-Master toy. Using Google's virtual reality technology, now the View-Master is being reimagined as a child's portal into VR. This updated version requires a smartphone to be slipped into the front. And you download that apps that put you in a 3D world that wraps. Surround you 360 degrees. Maybe you'll pop it on for a dinosaur adventure, a space exploration, or perhaps someday, a tour through Barbie's dream house. You may already have seen this technology called Google Cardboard. It's called cardboard because Google made a cheap VR phone case out of cardboard, lenses, magnets. Velcro and a rubber band. And that's what we tested it on during a demo. Mattel essentially is turning that into a kid friendly plastic case with lenses to hold the smartphone and it's selling it for $30. On the smartphone inside, an app splits your image in two on the screen, which creates that 3D effect. Mattel also put a new twist on the classic insertable image disks. Now, the reels are plastic, and you don't insert them into anything. You just look at them with your View-Master and the app recognizes. Which will you have by the way it looks and then it loads up that content. So why even have reals? Well because Mattel would like to still sell you physical items that you can collect. A pack of four costs 15 dollars. Mattel didn't share many details because it's still a. Work in progress coming out in the fall, but we do know that it's gonna work with multiple types of smartphones, and it can adjust to fit several sizes. We're told it's even gonna fit an iPhone 6 Plus. The company wants to tie this into big toy lines, like Barbie and Hot Wheels. And even repurpose older ViewMaster slides. They also see this as a tool for a classroom learning. Mattel checked with a team of pediatric ophthalmologists to get approval that it's safe for young eyes and it's being marketed for ages seven and up. This isn't the first time Mattel has brought parents' gadgets into play time. There was a line of activity toys that incorporated iPads and iPhones with Barbie, Hot Wheels, even Fisher Price. Mattel brand executive Doug Wadleigh told us that this wasn't a hit with parents. Parent's didn't really wanna let their kids play with. Their iPad and physical toys at the same time. This product is completely different. because you have a brand in view master that's always been about [UNKNOWN] kids into another world using 3D imaging. Everyone wants a piece of virtual reality action. LG just began giving away its own virtual reality headset to anyone that buys a G3 smartphone. And you could just use that instead of buying the Mattel headset. We'll have more on other high tech toys in upcoming reports as we cover Toy Fair going on now in New York. City. With your tech news update, I'm Bridget Carey. [MUSIC]

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