The Apple Store is now selling an iPhone-compatible VR headset

The Apple Store is now selling an iPhone-compatible VR headset
Just last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted that his company is keeping a close eye on virtual reality technology, a comment that was soon followed by a report claiming that Apple actually has a secret team working on VR

Today, it was discovered that the Apple Store is selling a beefed up version of a Google Cardboard headset called the Mattel View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack. Priced at $29.95, this is the first VR headset to make its way into the Apple Store.

If you've ever heard about the Google Cardboard project, then you already know all about the principle behind the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack. In essence, the headset is actually made up of a set of lens and a plastic case (not cardboard this time around) that's designed to hold an iPhone. The VR set can work any Apple smartphone starting with the iPhone 5 and up.

The iPhone, through a special app, displays two separate video streams. The user peeks at the content through the lens, and due to the slight differences in the two video streams, the user's brain perceives a single 3D image instead of two separate 2D ones.


As the name implies, the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter pack only comes with demo versions of its VR apps. To unlock the full versions of Space, Wildlife with National Geographic, and Destinations, the apps that the View-Master VR headset was designed to run, customers have to pay extra. 

Interestingly, View-Master has decided to go for an old-school approach when it comes to the apps, as customers have to purchase physical cartridges ($14.95 each) that unlock the full versions of the corresponding apps, which are free to download from the App Store. The headset is also compatible with Google Cardboard for iOS.

Aside from the construction and the app compatibility, there's no difference between the Google Cardboard and the View-Master VR. The higher-end, better-built, and pricier Samsung Gear VR adds some extra sensors and a trackpad, but still relies on a (Samsung) smartphone for the processing and the display. At the opposite side of the spectrum, next-gen VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift, the Sony Playstation VR and the HTC Vive will all come with built-in displays and will rely on powerful PCs to do all the processing work.

source: Apple via CultOfMac

Related phones

iPhone 6s
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Apple A9 APL0898, Dual-core, 1840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 1715 mAh(14h 3G talk time)
iPhone 6
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 1810 mAh(14h 3G talk time)

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45 Comments

1. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

And also come with load of sensor to detect head movement ect.

4. mihai.a

Posts: 47; Member since: Apr 15, 2015

Actually, the phone's accelerometer is used to track head movements on the Google Cardboard and on the View-Master VR set.

23. sgodsell

Posts: 7191; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The only problem is Apples low resolution iPhone 6/6s is a joke when it comes to VR. A lot of people don't realize the the display is split in two. So a 1334x750 iPhone 6/6s display has a resolution of only 667x750 per eye. No wonder why Apple never got into VR before. Idiots were telling people that Quad HD is overkill. However a Quad HD display has a resolution of 1280x1440 per eye. The other thing is this Mattel View Master has already been out for Android.

25. TheWeasel

Posts: 403; Member since: Dec 26, 2014

It's actually even worse than that, the display is not only divided, but the images displayed on either side are shrunken down as well. I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that this is so that the viewer sees none of the bezel or the edge of the screen and sees only screen that is magnified through the lenses, for immersion, I imagine.

34. cheetah2k

Posts: 2213; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

yep gonna be back to 1980's VGA for Apple users BWAHAHA

46. Landon

Posts: 1244; Member since: May 07, 2015

...and even with a Quad HD display on the Note 5, you still get a "screen-door" effect when using the Gear VR. Samsung and other phone manufacturers would be smart to produce a phone specifically for VR that has a 4K display, while still offering a Quad HD phones for most regular consumers.

37. engineer-1701d unregistered

sucks you got to hold it

41. JumpinJackROMFlash

Posts: 464; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

It just sucks. Period. VR on current Apple phones will be CGA resolution.

2. TheWeasel

Posts: 403; Member since: Dec 26, 2014

Ahaha wow I bought this very same headset for $7 at H-E-B just last night. It performs excellently and even fits my V10, so I guess the Plus iPhones should fit fine, although the video will look grainier on them. Overall it looks very good, the latch on top is made to look like the part of the disks that would stick out on the traditional View-Masters, and the lever to tap the phone's screen is also made to look like the lever on the original View-Master. I have yet to try the 3 cartridges that came with it or download the compatible app, but I bought it to use as a Google Cardboard headset more than anything.

18. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

VR with qHD looks unacceptable so with Apple resolutions you could probably count the pixels on one hand in that thing. They have got to be kidding if they intend on getting into the VR game with their current screens.

22. TheWeasel

Posts: 403; Member since: Dec 26, 2014

It's just passable with QHD, and it's the best thing for VR on a smartphone short of an Xperia Z5 Premium. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

24. sgodsell

Posts: 7191; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Quad HD (2560x1440) is really good in my opinion. Remember a display is split in two. So Quad HD has a resolution of 1280x1440 per eye. Whereas an iPhone 6/6s display only has a resolution of 667x750 per eye. There is almost 4 times the resolution for a Quad HD display vs the pathetic iPhone 6/6s display. Forget the tiny 4" iPhone. IPhone 6/6s and VR is a joke.

27. TheWeasel

Posts: 403; Member since: Dec 26, 2014

It's definitely the best thing widely available at the moment. I was satisfied with VR on my V10 but I would definitely opt for higher pixel density for VR if it were possible.

3. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Hah! A toy that fits around another toy. Oculus/Samsung is dying laughing at these stupid poor excuse for copycats. The iPhone 7 won't save you now Apple.

5. TerryTerius unregistered

Save apple from what?

10. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

From his continual delusional rants...

12. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Lol my thoughts exactly.

19. darkkjedii

Posts: 30964; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That's what I'm wondering. 2nd most valuable company, with nearly 200 billion in cash, needs saving form what exactly lol. Trolls gotta troll bro.

39. RajRicardo

Posts: 489; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

Nokia used to be in such sweet spot. Look where it is now. :/

42. JumpinJackROMFlash

Posts: 464; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

Well, just a little while ago it was #1. The future is looking bleak...

16. Ninetysix

Posts: 2962; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Dumb comment is dumb. The item is also available from amazon, walmart, best buy, etc. It has nothing to do with the iPhone 7 brosephine.

32. Unordinary unregistered

While Playstation VR is laughing at them all.

6. xocomaox

Posts: 200; Member since: Dec 14, 2015

This is incredibly cheap for an Apple product. I am actually quite shocked. Too bad apple doesn't have the ppi for VR just yet, but they will get there in late 2016 I'm sure.

8. mihai.a

Posts: 47; Member since: Apr 15, 2015

This is not an Apple product. The Apple Store is filled with third-party accessories, and this is one of them.

7. DRS1977

Posts: 679; Member since: May 27, 2015

The PPi on the iPhone is horrible. I can't imaging how terrible this looks compared to the Gear VR. Apple always trying to copy others.

20. darkkjedii

Posts: 30964; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

"Apple always trying to copy others." Who set in motion back in 2007, the way phones, and OS's today look?

29. DRS1977

Posts: 679; Member since: May 27, 2015

The LG Prada, thanks.

30. TerryTerius unregistered

The LG Prada did indeed come out a few months before the iPhone. But I severely doubt in that short time frame Apple copied it's design, and that it is responsible for the modern phone. The iPhone is indisputably the one that popularized the near-buttonless candy bar slab touch screen, no matter how you or I feel about Apple. The world copied Apple, not LG. Much in the same way that the Cadillac type 53 was the first car to have a modern layout, but did not popularize it. Credit where it's due.

9. SirYar

Posts: 351; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

With only 720p resolution? That's just not going to work!

26. sgodsell

Posts: 7191; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

It's actually less. It's only 667x750 for an iPhone 6/6s.

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