Virtual reality headsets are the future we were promised, but it’s unclear if they’ll just end up being toys for rich people. However, with a little help from Google, Mattel is resurrecting the classic View-Master for VR. The best part? It’s only $30.
Kids are going to love this. Borrowing from the design of the original View Master, the sturdy headset combines the power of a smartphone with some clever augmented and virtual reality tricks. The phone snaps into the headset which includes a hole for the phone’s camera to see what’s in front of it as well as a little orange lever on the side for simple controls. For now, Mattel is selling $15 “Experience Packs” in the form of classic View-Master disks. You download the proper app and then scan the NFC-enabled experience pack with your phone. Once you put on the headset, the disk comes alive and invites you to explore the virtual world.
That’s fun enough, and we can surely expect to come out with all kinds of content from its toy empire. However, it’s also cool to see a cheap VR headset with all the capabilities of Google Cardboard without actually being made of flimsy cardboard. And it’s honestly bonkers that you can now shop for VR equipment at Walmart. The future is here. [Mattel via VentureBeat]