Remember those dumb glasses that supposedly enhanced your view of the world, but really just turned people into self-selecting megadorks? Google is so over making those. Now, seemingly insatiable in its desire to get people to stare into stuff, Google is teaming up with Mattel to pioneer the future of virtual reality: View-Master.
The A.V. Club readers of a certain age may recall the View-Master, an enchanting stereoscopic toy that transformed film-and-cardboard discs into an immersive 3D world. (View-Master itself was transformed into a paperweight by the Nintendo DS.)
The updated version of View-Master, which uses the Google Cardboard platform, works by inserting an Android smartphone to create a virtual reality experience. The discs have also been reconfigured; no longer cardboard, now the “experience reels” function outside of the View-Master device. By aiming the device at a reel, users can explore subjects like San Francisco, dinosaurs, or the solar system.
The new View-Master device will be compatible with all Google Cardboard apps, and is set to go on sale this fall for $29.99. The complementary Mattel app will also function independently of the device and reels, and will work with any standard Google Cardboard kit.
Because it’s Friday, here’s a 1971 commercial for the GAF View-Master, featuring Henry Fonda and a very young Jody Foster: