At the beginning of 2015, Mattel confirmed it would be letting iOS users use its new View-Master to check out virtual and augmented reality worlds in the colorful headset.
Now, almost a year later, Apple is now selling the new View-Master through its online store, as first surfaced by 9to5Mac. The new View-Master looks somewhat like its long-standing predecessor, with a slightly tweaked design to probably make it look more futuristic or something. There are elements that harken back to the original idea, including reels that now let users select the experience they want to jump into.
The View-Master lets you slide an iPhone into the headset, and then place it up to your eyes to view the worlds that are created in the experience. You’ll need an official app to get things started, which is a free download from the iOS App Store, and passes that are included in the “Experience Packs.” There are three Experience Packs to choose from right now, including Destinations, Space, and National Geographic: Wildlife — each of which costs $14.99.
The View-Master virtual reality Starter Pack costs $29.95 from Apple’s online store.
You can check it out in an interesting promotional ad for the headset below.
This is a pretty cool gadget, and a great way for kids to learn about a variety of topics in a different way than just reading a book or watching a show. While it may not be a stark indication of Apple’s future plans with augmented and/or virtual reality, it is at least proving Tim Cook right when he said it’s “really cool.”
Of course, rumors have it that Apple is indeed working on something related to virtual reality, and that a headset could be in the company’s future. Most recently it was reported that Apple has put together a (secret) team to work on a virtual reality headset.
The apps for each of the Experience Packs can be found below.