In a move set to delight kids and nostalgic adults alike, Google and Mattel have updated the iconic "View-Master" into a virtual reality headset.
The next-generation View-Master uses the VR technology from Google's low-tech Cardboard device, which the internet giant introduced last year.
Users will be able to download the special View-Master app from Google Play and slot any smartphone (Android or iPhone) into the headset to start exploring.
Different tours will come on physical "experience reels" (resembling the original circular slides), which don't slot into the headset but can sit on a table, for example, in front of multiple viewers wanting to take the same tour.
Technically, the device doesn't need the reels to function (tours can just be downloaded on the app), but Mattel says it decided to make them appeal to nostalgic collectors of the old-timey toys that date back the 1939 New York World's Fair.
The partnership is an attempt to answer a nagging question in the toy industry: How do you make existing products relevant as kids turn away from traditional toys and toward video games for the iPhone and iPad? Mattel thinks it has cracked that nut.
The advantage to Mattel is clear — it hopes to capture kids by offering them the next big thing.
Google's Cardboard product director Mike Jazayeri says that Google "wants to make virtual reality accessible to everyone," and by hooking up with an established toy brand with recognisable characters, it can reach a broader, younger audience than through its Cardboard headset.
One of the drawbacks VR headset makers have to overcome is the sickness-inducing factor. Some people complain of nausea and dizziness after trying devices such as Oculus Rift.
For that reason, the View-Master, available later this year for $US30, won't encourage long-time viewing with a head strap like Cardboard.
Google announced in these days its new domain service. The service, which is not active yet, will allows you to buy and manage domain names. Google Domains, this is the name of the service, also helps you build your site, set up email addresses, and manage hosting. In other words will be possible to run and entire website without ever leaving the Google ecosystem.
The service will partner with several website building partners including Shopify, Weebly, Squarespace and Wix. With the Domain service, we will get 100 branded email addresses and up to 100 custom subdomains. Visitors will be also routed through Google’s own DNS system, so they can expect a fast, dependable connection.
The price is not yet quoted, although a window on the Google Domains site suggests that registering a domain will cost $12 a year.
The decision represent a competition move against the ex partner GoDaddy, the world’s largest domain name registrar.
For using this latest Google service we will have to wait, although a beta version is available at this link.