Mattel

Mattel View-Master hands-on: Retro toy gets AR upgrade

Mattel View-Master hands-on: Retro toy gets AR upgrade

Mattel's rebooted View-Master won't be the only Google Cardboard headset around when it hits stores this October, but it's possibly the most charming. Announced back in February, the distinctive red casing swallows up your smartphone and, courtesy of Qualcomm's Vuforia, summons interactive scenes by scanning photo-reels. Mattel finally has working prototypes, so I dipped my toe into a VR scene at SIGGRAPH 2015.

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Autodesk, Mattel to bring the magic of 3D printing to kids

Autodesk, Mattel to bring the magic of 3D printing to kids

We guess it was inevitable. When smartphones and tablets became the hot tech toys, kids become the next target of device makers. Now that 3D printing is the buzzword, it's only a matter of time before children become the next big, or in this case, small, customers. Autodesk, one of the foremost players in the 3D software scene, and Mattel, one of the biggest toy companies, are joining forces to do just that. Though, for now, kids are still safe as the two have yet to reveal concrete products from this partnership.

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Mattel under fire in Hello Barbie privacy fight

Mattel under fire in Hello Barbie privacy fight

Mattel's high-tech Barbie upgrade, giving the classic doll an injection of Siri-style smarts, has come under fire from privacy advocates concerned the listening doll is more creep than companion. Announced back in February, Hello Barbie looks outwardly like a regular doll, but has a microphone and WiFi connectivity hidden inside. By making conversation with kids, the doll can learn what they enjoy doing, ask them questions about their favorite things, and generally become more personalized.

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Hello Barbie gives iconic doll some Siri-style sass

Hello Barbie gives iconic doll some Siri-style sass

Barbie is getting her most significant makeover yet, with Mattel somehow finding room inside the iconic doll's improbable figure to fit WiFi connectivity that turns her into a smart playmate. Set to hit stores this fall, Hello Barbie will be capable of two-way conversations, playing games, and telling stories, but perhaps more importantly the doll will learn from what its owner has talked about and then use that personalized understanding to pick what topics to bring up later on.

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Google’s View-Master: here’s how it works

Google’s View-Master: here’s how it works

Believe it or not, you won't actually need a View-Master to view the content Google is presenting this week. The View-Master device is just a box with a magnetic switch - just like Google Cardboard. To "view" a View-Master reel - like the "reels" you remember from the original View-Master, you'll need only your smartphone. To view these reels correctly, you'll need a Google Cardboard headset - and that doesn't need to be manufactured by Mattel. The View-Master headset just makes everything easier to understand visually.

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Mattel reboots View-Master with Google Cardboard magic

Mattel reboots View-Master with Google Cardboard magic

Google and Mattel have yanked the View-Master into the 21st century, taking the venerable 3D eyepiece and giving it a smartphone spin courtesy of the same tech as in Google Cardboard. Where the original View-Master used a clicking wheel of photos users peered through, taking a three-dimensional trip to foreign countries, wonders of the world, or outer space, the new model relies on a smartphone slotted into the front, and on which "experience reels" of photos and other content can be shown. Best of all, third-party developers and fans of Cardboard will be able to make their own 3D content, which Mattel plans to curate and distribute.

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Mattel’s Google View-Master project set for ToyFair 2015

Mattel’s Google View-Master project set for ToyFair 2015

Invites have just been sent out to the press inviting them to a showing of Google's first team-up project with the toymakers at Mattel. This event will take place on the 14th of February, the first official day of NYC Toy Fair. While Toy Fair will be held by the Toy Industry Association, Inc at the Jacob K Javits Convention Center, this Google / Mattel event will be held off-site - just about 2 miles away, as it were, but still off-site and not officially associated.

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