Matterless Celebrates its First Birthday
Happy Monday! Come join our party as we commemorate our first anniversary.
An Amazing Year
The Matterless team is celebrating its first birthday! It’s hard to believe, but in just one year we began with nothing and now have made incredible gains in the quest for digital intersubjectivity. A big THANK YOU to our supporters, investors, and team members for believing in this vision and being along this journey together. Check out the video we’ve got together to commemorate this day!
Let’s take a walk down memory lane to see the highlights of our story.
The Matterless story began with a mission to create AR companions for people to love and channeltheir social energy towards. With this, it was important to secure the necessary financial backing that would be needed to staff up and bring our vision to (digital) life. Thankfully, we were extremely blessed to work with a large range of investors, including Outlier Ventures, Cadenza, Kenetic Capital, NGC Ventures, Arkstream Capital, and many more. Their belief in our audacious goal was critical in getting things rolling.
0.1 and Calliope the Cougar
Our first groundbreaking development was the release of Build 0.1 to our Patreon supporters. This demo was the first time that others could taste for themselves the magic we had been dreaming of for so long. With our first Matterless pet, Calliope the cougar, users could share this AR experience by scanning each others’ QR codes, and record video. Over 400 of our supporters participated in this first beta test, providing us with valuable feedback that helped improve subsequent builds. It was an immense joy watching our hard work in the hands of our supporters at last.
3D Hand Reconstruction
The holy grail of our many innovations is undoubtedly our 3D hand technology. Compared to efforts from other companies, ours can differentiate depth and the articulation of your fingers. In the video above, you can see the cavernous difference between traditional hand recognition (top left window), which is blocky and woefully imprecise, and ours. This feature will let you use your hand to interact with your pet in a variety of ways, whether tickling it under the chin with one finger or rubbing its forehead with your palm, and watch it react! It is this level of interactive depth that will truly bring digital things to life.
Concepting New Worlds
As our team grew, so did our design philosophy. In addition to creating digital toys to foster companionship and intersubjectivity, we were driven by an optimistic future powered by green technology and a respect for nature. Inspired by the vibrant aesthetics of Solarpunk, we tuned our artistic vision of all things Matterless to reflect a perfect symbiosis of humankind and the natural world.
Our worldbuilding became more ambitious, so it was important to have a mascot who would serve as a human guide for our storytelling. Enter Alice, a programmer and environmentalist who invents the Looking Glass Protocol which allows Matterless creatures to be perceived in the physical world. As a person with both feet firmly planted in both realms of technology and nature, Alice embodies our ideals and will play an important role as we expand on our narrative work in the Matterless world.
Helping Our Fellow Man and Animals
It’s important that we support our love for nature and fellow humans in tangible ways, and so Matterless Studios works with and donates to different charities and wildlife organizations every month. The first of these groups was the Snow Leopard Trust, which is dedicated to the research and preservation of one of the world’s rarest wild cats. In addition to donating to their cause, we organized two AMAs where our Discord members learned more about snow leopards with SLT scientists Justine Shanti Alexander and Koustubh Sharma.
Last March, we were reminded of the constant specter of war, even in the age of globalization, when Russia invaded Ukraine. As our way of standing against this senseless act, the Matterless team worked with our Patreon supporters to donate USD1,190 to Voices of Children, a charity that helps Ukrainian children affected by war.
The team continued to work hard at new features and upgrades for our app, and in March and April we released Builds 0.2 and 0.3. These introduced several ground floor elements, such as pet naming, a tutorial, an inventory system, pet feeding, and the ability to take in-app screenshots and video. You could also deploy items into the AR space and have your pet interact with it! With these great leaps, the stage was set for more transformative changes to take place.
Together At Last
With team members all over the world, the Matterless team works completely remotely. Nevertheless, last April part of the team traveled to Croatia to meet up for the first time! Hosted by our sound engineer Dusko at his studio, we put our minds together to explore new features for our app and connected as human beings.
Shortly after, we had several new additions to the team, including Kevin, our art director, Xennia, our HR manager, Patrick, the marketing lead, and of course yours truly as the social media manager.
0.4: Day of the Shiba
With our team more ready than ever to carry our journey forward, it was time to reveal the next massive closed beta update, 0.4. Calliope was replaced with an adorable Shiba Inu, featuring more advanced textures and animation that will be important in showing how pets react to your touch. We also made improvements to the mood system and added a new Karma leaderboard, so players could track how well they were treating their pet compared to others.
We’re moving from strength to strength, and year two is going to be doubly exciting as we cultivate an ecosystem of Matterless things! But we’re not just interested in making AR toys for people to connect with; we want to advance the very notion that digital things can be real. Driven by this purpose, there really is no limit to what other applications our technology can have.
I hope you enjoyed this retrospective, and I invite you to join our Discord and support our Patreon to be among the pioneers of groundbreaking AR history.
-Kerwin, social media manager