Mathew Olson, The Information

Mathew Olson

The Information

New York, NY, United States

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Past articles by Mathew:

Niantic’s Shot at Mixing AR and Basketball; HTC’s Metaverse Phone

If you squint, sports fandom doesn’t look all that different from video game fandom. In each, people have their favorite players (or larger-than-life characters), there are stats to pore over endlessly. Anyone with an impulse for collecting things can likely be drawn in by either pastime. It’s ... → Read More

The Importance of Apple’s M2 Chip; Meta’s New AI Audio Tricks for AR

What’s in a name? In the case of Apple-designed silicon, not much: from the A-series of chips designed for iPhones through to the M1 and new M2 chips, Apple’s only revision to each new name is updating the number.So, when Mark Gurman of Bloomberg says he expects that Apple’s mixed reality ... → Read More

Avatar Fashion Comes to Non-VR Meta Apps; June News Roundup

Starting today, users of Facebook, Instagram and Messenger will be able to start dressing up avatars they use on those apps in outfits from brands like Balenciaga and Prada. But this feature won’t be available to users of Horizon Worlds, the social VR platform which recently expanded its reach ... → Read More

The HoloLens Reorganization; Is Crayta Meta’s Horizon Backup Plan?

Tuesday night’s shakeup at Microsoft’s HoloLens team, sparked by the departure of HoloLens co-creator Alex Kipman, likely ranks as the biggest blow to Microsoft’s efforts in AR hardware and related platforms and software since work on HoloLens started in earnest around 2010. In short, it could ... → Read More

Apple’s New AR Scanning Feature; TikTok Joins the Avatar Party

Let’s call it like it is: Apple’s event on Monday made it seem all but certain that its mixed reality headset won’t debut until 2023. Supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo now believes that’s the case, reasoning that lockdowns in Shanghai have slowed development such that a reveal before January ... → Read More

The AR News From WWDC; Apple Courts Favreau for Headset Content

Today marks the kickoff of Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, an event that always results in a trickle of additional news following the flashy and, er, lengthy keynote. If you’ve been keeping up with all the recent Apple hardware coverage from The Information and other ... → Read More Founder’s New Project Exits Stealth; Sony Lines Up PS VR2 Titles

Bit by bit, inch by inch, we’re seeing companies start to put together full 3D maps of the world, and the implications for the future of AR and the feel of the metaverse could be profound. That’s the technology LivingCities, a new startup led by ex-Samsung, Lucasfilm and Foursquare talent, hopes ... → Read More

Lynx’s Series A Raise; New Research Toward Focusable VR Lenses

Lynx, the French hardware startup aiming to launch its first mixed reality headset, the R-1, this summer, has completed a $4 million Series A raise at an undisclosed valuation. Led by Somnium Space, a blockchain-centric social VR platform and metaverse-focused investor, the new round is very ... → Read More

Qualcomm’s Newest AR Design; Apple’s Gaming Hangup

Since Qualcomm’s chips are so ubiquitous, each new AR or VR reference design from the chipmaker serves as a good yardstick for where glasses and headsets will move over the next few years. The company’s latest design is no different: Qualcomm’s new wireless AR glasses powered by its XR2 chip ... → Read More

Nick Clegg’s Stab at Hyping Up the Metaverse

When Nick Clegg was promoted to be President of Global Affairs at Meta Platforms earlier this year, it was clear that one of his big responsibilities was handling heat from governments, freeing up Mark Zuckerberg to talk up the metaverse to anyone who will listen. But it seems you can’t be a ... → Read More

The New Details on Apple’s Long Headset Journey

We’ve known for years now that Apple is developing both a mixed reality headset and AR glasses, and while The Information and other publications have regularly trickled out details on the former, CEO Tim Cook has not shied from talking up AR as “the next big thing.” Only now are we getting a ... → Read More

VR Optimism From Meta’s Abrash; Fortnite’s Creative Mode Future

Let’s kick off this week with a look at what some longtime metaverse thinkers have been up to lately. We’ll start with a recent podcast interview of Meta Platform’s Michael Abrash, check in on why Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney made headlines late last week, and then look at author (and ... → Read More

Reality Labs Faces Cutbacks; A New Peek at Cambria

There’s good news and bad news swirling around Meta Platforms today. We’ve learned a bit more about its upcoming Project Cambria headset and Meta’s plans to make it easier to create mixed reality apps for it and Quest. But there’s a shadow looming over those announcements: on Wednesday evening, ... → Read More

AR Translation Glasses and More From Google I/O

You didn’t hear the word ‘metaverse’ once from Google executives at today’s I/O developer conference keynote. Instead, CEO Sundar Pichai and others talked up “ambient computing,” the concept of weaving digital devices into people’s lives so they can seamlessly connect with the internet while ... → Read More

Instagram Eyes AR NFT Launch; Horizon Worlds Gobbles Up Venues

Is the NFT market truly cratering or have reports of its demise been greatly exaggerated?However vigorous the demand for digital collectibles may or may not be, the market might get a shot in the arm from Meta Platforms: today, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Instagram will begin testing support ... → Read More

New Advances in Ultra-Thin VR; Reality Labs Gets New COO

If there’s one adjective that the AR/VR industry would love to put behind it, it’s got to be “bulky.” Especially for VR hardware, it has proven difficult to move away from designs that need large, heavy lenses in order to bring displays into proper focus. New research from Nvidia and Stanford, ... → Read More

China’s Nreal Air to Make U.K. Debut; Vive’s Filmmaking Tool

The U.K. is about to become an early adopter’s playground. Yesterday, Chinese AR glasses maker Nreal announced plans to release its Nreal Air AR glasses there later this spring through a partnership with British telecom EE. This will mark the first new market for Nreal Air since it launched ... → Read More

TikTok’s AR Tools Go Wide; Meta’s Steep Horizon Creator Fees

If you’re a TikTok user (and if the platform’s recommendation algorithm deems it so), get ready to see a lot more videos spruced up with AR effects. Today, the ByteDance-owned social video platform has opened up its new AR development app Effect House for all users.First teased in a closed beta ... → Read More

A $2 Billion Round for Epic; Can Meta Catch Up to Apple on Chips?

Sony and Lego’s controlling shareholder are putting a total of $2 billion into Epic Games, the biggest single investment in the gamemaker yet, Epic announced today. The investment suggests that Epic’s metaverse partnership with The Lego Group announced on Thursday might be more ambitious than ... → Read More

Does Meta Need the F8 Developer Conference Anymore?

Meta Platforms’s decision to skip its annual developer conference F8 this year raises a question: given the rising importance of AR/VR, does Meta even need its spring conference at all anymore? Maybe the Connect conference in the fall, which is focused on AR/VR, will take over as Meta’s premier ... → Read More