At a press event in New York today, toy-manufacturing giant Mattel and Google unveiled a reimagined View-Master — a $30 augmented reality (AR) gadget powered by Google’s Cardboard tech. The View-Master is set to launch sometime in October of this year.
The View-Master name, of course, comes from the classic 76-year-old stereoscopic 3D gadget. This new device, however, appears to largely mimic the classic View-Master in terms of form factor. Like Google Cardboard, the device requires a smartphone to work.
“The breadth of the content that we want to create is limitless,” said Mattel senior vice president Doug Wadleigh. Here’s an example of the sort of content Mattel and Google plan to create:
The futuristic new View-Master will be made available this coming fall, with the viewer and “sample experience reel” setting you back $29.99. Aside from the View-Master shell, which works like a higher-end Google Cardboard, Mattel aims to sell “reels” that trigger certain augmented reality experiences.
When paired with the accompanying View-Master app and a compatible smartphone, the sample reel serves up “a glimpse of the full View-Master experience,” including a journey into space inside a space shuttle. You’ll be able to buy additional themed reel packs for $14.99.