View-Master Gets a Modern Makeover from Mattel and Google

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Children of the mid-20th century will almost certainly remember View-Master, with its circular slide reels and 3-D views of stories and places. It hasn't changed much in 75 years, but Mattel announced Friday that it has a new View-Master in the works that has more in common with Google Cardboard and Oculus Rift than an old-school slide projector.

The new View-Master, which Mattel plans to release this fall, will rely on a smartphone instead of those circular cartridges. Like Google Cardboard, you slide the phone in one side of the viewer, then look through the eyepieces — it shows a slightly different view of the same scene to each eye, giving a 3-D effect. It'll also be able to track your movements, which will let you navigate around virtual environments or admire your surroundings. And, of course, there's no risk of losing the little discs — all the content is stored in an app. The device will only work with Android phones at first though iOS support is planned — and interestingly enough an iPhone-only device much like this was released by Hasbro in 2011.

The new View-Master will cost $30, and four-packs of "experiences" will set you back $15 when they're released in October.

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—Devin Coldewey