Nintendo Labo recently announced the release of its VR software system, which includes a cardboard headset. Seeing highly technical advancements being captured in such simple formats brought to mind the original VR of my childhood— the View-Master.
Though the View-Master wasn’t technically considered virtual or augmented reality, the 3-D stereoscope film reels of everything from planets in the solar system to movements of dinosaurs captured my attention with each flick of the plastic lever.
Originally created in 1939, the View-Master quickly became popular for looking at high-quality images of tourist destinations shortly after the advent of color photographs. After going through a few interations and discoveries of practical uses, the View-Master ultimately became visual entertainment for children.
As a way to stay modern with the times, View-Master traded in its iconic film reel for and SDK to create the View-Master Virtual Reality Viewer. Though View-Master is doing what it must to continue providing visual stimulation to children, I will never forget how important the View-Master was to my childhood.