Lucas Matney

Lucas Matney

Lucas Matney is a Writer at TechCrunch focused on covering the latest augmented/virtual reality tech, gadgets and audio tech. He’s currently studying at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University where he spends most of the time in his classes tweeting and blogging.

If you’d like to contact Lucas and tell him about the cool stuff you or your client is working on, reach out at: lucas.matney@techcrunch.com

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  • Google hires former Samsung VR exec to work on Daydream

    Google hires former Samsung VR exec to work on Daydream

    Google is forming a rather hefty team within the company to tackle smartphone-based virtual reality. The latest addition to the team is Matt Apfel, a former VP of content strategy for Samsung’s Milk VR (now Samsung VR). Apfel left Samsung in March and has been hired By Google to work on content for Daydream, Google’s next-gen mobile VR ecosystem, Variety reports. Daydream… Read More

  • Razer opens pre-orders for OSVR HDK 2 virtual reality headset

    Razer opens pre-orders for OSVR HDK 2 virtual reality headset

    When it comes to buying a serious VR headset, to most it’s largely a question of choosing the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive. There is a second tier of lesser-known VR headsets however, and at the forefront of them is the OSVR headset. Today, Razer announced it is opening up pre-orders for the company’s second OSVR development kit, called the HDK 2. It’s available for $399… Read More

  • Second Life creators look to revamp reality once again, this time in VR

    Second Life creators look to revamp reality once again, this time in VR

    The team is now embarking on its most ambitious project yet, a wide-reaching virtual reality network called Project Sansar that is, in many ways, aiming to become a new layer of reality that gives individuals and businesses a space to experiment with VR environments for their first time. I had the chance to sit down for a demo of Sansar with Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg this past week and… Read More

  • A brief moment of VR brilliance with Trials of Tatooine for HTC Vive

    A brief moment of VR brilliance with Trials of Tatooine for HTC Vive

    Psshhhewww…Wwooooom…Woooooom….Kkssschhhh… In the midst of thrashing a virtual lightsaber all around my body with all of the sound effects, it’s a bit hard for me to ignore the increasingly apparent point that nostalgia will play a huge role in getting people hooked on AR and VR. Pokémon GO has already ignited this huge feverish debate around the future of… Read More

  • T-Mobile is giving its customers unlimited data to play Pokemon Go an unlimited amount

    T-Mobile is giving its customers unlimited data to play Pokemon Go an unlimited amount

    Pretty much every PR agency under the sun has had a meeting this week trying to determine how they can get a slice of the Pokemon GO popularity, and, to be fair, so has every newsroom. But now it’s time for T-Mobile to bask in the sunshine with its contribution to the media lightning storm. T-Mobile announced today that as a part of its “T-Mobile Tuesdays” promotion… Read More

  • Unity raises $181M monster round at a reported $1.5B valuation

    Unity raises $181M monster round at a reported $1.5B valuation

    Over the last few years, Unity Technologies has grown to become indispensable to the gaming industry and much of the entertainment industry as an engine for building experiences in one place and distributing them across a swath of platforms. Now, with the rise of augmented and virtual reality, we are rapidly approaching the likelihood that the future will be built on Unity. To do that, the… Read More

  • Invites sent out for Samsung’s August 2 Unpacked smartphone event

    Invites sent out for Samsung’s August 2 Unpacked smartphone event

    Samsung just mailed out invitations for its Samsung Unpacked 2016 event, where it’s expected to unveil its latest Note smartphone. The event is taking place August 2 at 11AM EST, and will be live-streamed on samsung.com. The device is likely going to be called the Note 7, something seemingly confirmed by the language on the invite itself. This is being done for unity’s sake for… Read More

  • Oculus launching the Rift without the Touch controllers probably wasn’t a great move

    Oculus launching the Rift without the Touch controllers probably wasn’t a great move

    The Oculus Rift launch has been a rocky one that hasn’t exactly left fans of the highly influential consumer VR platform very happy. Today, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe announced a few things (we’re pretty sure it was him this time). He clued us into the fact that after three-and-a-half months, the Oculus team has at last caught up with pre-orders and that Oculus’s cool… Read More

  • Mobile events app DoubleDutch lays off nearly 25% of its workforce

    Mobile events app DoubleDutch lays off nearly 25% of its workforce

    Mobile events and conferences company DoubleDutch announced today that it will be laying off 55 of its employees as a part of a company-wide restructuring. The company, founded in 2011, has raised over $78 million in funding to power its mobile tools which allow event organizers to create dedicated app experiences that give them the ability to easily share information with attendees… Read More

  • Signs of a new Samsung Gear VR are surfacing

    Signs of a new Samsung Gear VR are surfacing

    It’s been less than a year since the consumer Gear VR was first shown off and it already seems as though Samsung and Oculus are regrouping to push out a new version of the pre-eminent mobile VR headset. A Dutch Samsung rumors site inexplicably found a listing from an Indian imports database that highlights a new model number (SM-R323) for the Gear VR device being shipped. Read More

  • NextVR scores $20 million from a Chinese investment firm

    NextVR scores $20 million from a Chinese investment firm

    NextVR confirmed today that the company has received $20 million in funding from a Chinese investment firm as a part of an upcoming Series B raise. The news surfaced earlier this week on Variety after regulatory documents from CITIC Group Corp. were discovered. The $20M is just a slice of the Series B raise; Variety reports that NextVR is looking to raise $80 million at a $800 million… Read More

  • Hacker takes over Oculus CEO’s Twitter account, announces new CEO

    Hacker takes over Oculus CEO’s Twitter account, announces new CEO

    Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe had his Twitter account hacked Wednesday; the hacker took the opportunity to promptly announce a new CEO for the virtual reality company. Update: the account appears to be back under Brendan’s control. This is just the latest in a string of tech CEO’s having their Twitter accounts compromised, this attack does not appear to be from the same hacker… Read More

  • HTC Vive announces $10 billion VR Venture Capital Alliance

    HTC Vive announces $10 billion VR Venture Capital Alliance

    VR technologies are going to be requiring a shit ton of capital as they look to make the crossover from R&D phases to mass market adoption. HTC is certainly looking to do its part to make sure that the headset technologies it is building have a broader ecosystem to fall into. Today, at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, HTC Vive announced a $10 billion initiative to put… Read More

  • Twitter is putting together a team focused on VR and AR

    Twitter is putting together a team focused on VR and AR

    Twitter is beginning to devote resources toward building out a dedicated VR/AR-focused team. The social media company has hired former Apple designer Alessandro Sabatelli to lead the initiative as Twitter’s Director of VR and AR, Will Mason over at UploadVR reports. Update: Twitter has confirmed the hire and said that the Augmented Reality team will be housed within the… Read More

  • Google for Education partners with TES to expand the reach of VR Expeditions content in classrooms

    Google for Education partners with TES to expand the reach of VR Expeditions content in classrooms

    Next-gen edtech and virtual reality are both high-stakes platforms that have quite a bit of potential when it comes to defining our near-future. The marriage of the platforms may be far from ready for primetime, but there is a lot of flirtation happening in the space right now thanks to some major players. Today, Google for Education announced that it will be adding integration of… Read More

  • Magic Leap partners with Lucasfilm to experiment with mixed reality storytelling

    Magic Leap partners with Lucasfilm to experiment with mixed reality storytelling

    Magic Leap wants you to hang out with droids. Today, the mixed reality company announced a partnership with Lucasfilm and ILMxLAB to work on creating and researching ways of telling stories in mixed reality. The companies are building a joint research lab, the “Collab Lab,” at Lucasfilm’s San Francisco campus. This morning at the WIRED Business Conference in New York, Magic… Read More

  • Storehouse will shut down services July 15, entire team will migrate to Square

    Storehouse will shut down services July 15, entire team will migrate to Square

    Storehouse, an aesthetically pleasing and exceedingly well-designed mobile app for sharing multimedia stories, announced today that it will be sunsetting services for its users on July 15. Furthermore, CEO Mark Kawano tells me that the entire team at the app, currently four employees, will be moving to Square. Kawano was hush hush on specifics regarding the move to Square or whether… Read More

  • Airbnb begins testing City Hosts program to give guests guided one-of-a-kind experiences

    Airbnb begins testing City Hosts program to give guests guided one-of-a-kind experiences

    Airbnb has long lauded their ability to give guests really unique vacation experiences that go beyond just staying in bland and forgettable hotel rooms. Now the company is looking to revitalize the entire travel experience by giving guests the option to experience city life with specialized guided experiences. The house-sharing service has launched a private beta of a new program called… Read More

  • Reddit CTO Marty Weiner on building a home for the Internet’s wildest community

    Reddit CTO Marty Weiner on building a home for the Internet’s wildest community

    Critical to this major effort is Marty Weiner. Weiner joined the Reddit team this past summer as the company’s first-ever CTO, and he’s spent the past 10 months building out areas for improvement on a site infrastructure that is increasingly less MacGyver’d together. Reddit is the 9th most-visited website in the United States, but when Weiner was hired last August, the… Read More

  • Slack now has 3 million users chatting it up on the service every day

    Slack now has 3 million users chatting it up on the service every day

    Slack has quite a lot of users that are logged-on to the chat service quite a lot of the time. The enterprise communication app published a little update on its company blog today announcing that the service is still growing pretty rapidly, tripling its daily active users in less than a year and doubling its concurrent users in the past 8 months. Three million users use the app on a… Read More

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