Mammoth toy maker Mattel is the latest brand to get into the virtual reality game, partnering with Google to upgrade its stereoscope View-Master to the 21st century.
The upgrade – unveiled at the Toy Fair in New York – uses Google’s affordable virtual reality offering, Google Cardboard, allowing kids to traverse around a heap of famous places, landmarks and areas in nature.
“The View-Master was first introduced at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, giving consumers access to spectacular 3D worlds by simply selecting a reel and looking through a device,” said Doug Wadleigh, senior vice president and global brand general manager, Toy Box at Mattel.
— View-Master (@ViewMaster) February 14, 2016
“By working with Google’s Cardboard platform, we are now able to take that experience even further bringing the discovery and immersive viewing experience of the View-Master to the digital age. Combining technology and innovation with this classic toy gives kids an enhanced experience allowing for play opportunities not yet imagined through new, digitally curated content.”
Mike Jazayeri, product director for Google Cardboard, said the company had developed Google Cardboard to inspire companies to rethink user experience.
“Many of us on the Google Cardboard team grew up playing with View-Master, so we were excited to collaborate with Mattel and to see the viewer evolve and work with Google Cardboard.”
Mattel’s by no means the first brand to see the advantages of virtual reality. When the new Star Wars film was coming out, the tech gave fans a first look at the worlds. Similarly for Lion King fans, they could immerse themselves into the illustrious song Circle of Life.
And agencies are seeing the pros of incorporating virtual reality into their offerings. Brisbane-based agency BCM used Google Cardboard in a campaign for Queensland University during its open day.
Too, Nathan Fischer from media agency OMD is adamant virtual reality is going to change advertising.
Whatever the case, there’s no denying virtual reality is becoming a hot space to dabble in.