Back in February, Mattel announced that the View-Master would be getting a makeover. Today, we received a tip from one of our scouts that it had showed up on Target.com. A quick search through the store finder showed a few in stock here in LA, so we drove to Inglewood and found a stock clerk willing to get one out of the back for us before they found a place on the shelves.
Carly unboxed the View-Master VR as soon as we got back.
The View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack includes the headset, which is Works With Cardboard certified, and a Preview Reel modeled after the old paper reels of the View-Master 1.0. The headset is compatible with many iPhone and Android devices. We tested it with both the iPhone 6 and Note 4.
The starter pack gives you access to three different apps: Space, Destinations and National Geogaphic: Wildlife. Once the app is opened on the phone, you can look at the Preview Reel to activate it. When you do, an augmented reality overlay shows a taste of what’s to come on top of the little white disk.
National Geographic: Wildlife took us to learn about Capybaras in the Rainforest, Kangaroos in the Outback, and Zebras in the Savannah. The Space app let us see a shuttle up close under the Milky Way. Destinations took us to Greece, London, New York, and Chichen Itza.
Concessions were made. Interaction is a bit limited. Some of the surroundings are pretty basic. Additional information is thrown up in windows and video boxes floating in the air. But this is a first stab at the future of field trips. From this day forward, any kid anywhere will be able to travel the world, and the universe, to learn and experience what a textbook could never do justice.
You can download the apps from iTunes and Google Play here: