View-Master: Everything Old Is New Again

Remember the View-Master toy - the little photo viewer that allowed you to load up a cardboard disk of small slides and view them in "3D" when you squinted into it? I used to really enjoy those as a kid, and was a little surprised to learn the device is around 75 years old. Yes, that is older than I am. If you think of it, the idea is pretty similar to "Google Cardboard". 

Google Cardboard is essentially a small cardboard box that becomes a frame to carry a smartphone, and by using an app you can peer into the box and get the View-Master effect, with a little Virtual Reality twist thrown in for good measure. That is, if you move your head around while viewing the scene, it moves with you and reinforces the "you are there" illusion.

Well, later this year a new View-Master will use the Google Cardboard approach for an updated toy featuring plastic "reels" instead of the cardboard discs of old, but instead of color 3D separated images, the reels will hold "augmented environments" featuring things like Dinosaurs (yay!), planets, underwater scenes and so on.

image courtesy of Engadget

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