XR startup Lynx begins shipping its promising R-1 mixed reality headset

TO UPDATE
XR startup Lynx begins shipping its promising R-1 mixed reality headset

Picture: Lynx

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Update of January 3, 2023:

The first batches of Lynx R1s have arrived and are shipping directly, according to Lynx. The last status update from early December indicated that the first copies would go to Kickstarter backers and experienced developers. Lynx plans to showcase some of the manufactured devices at CES 2023.

October 28 update:

Lynx is to announce another delay: the first headsets will only be delivered to Kickstarter backers in December instead of November, but here only in an uncertified version.

The non-certified version is identical to the series-produced devices. The missing certification only concerns the final assembly, the individual components such as the battery and the electronics are supposed to be certified. This release is meant to be for developers.

Those who need a fully certified version will not be provided until the end of February. Customers who ordered via the website will also not be supplied before the end of February. Those who have already ordered via the website in 2021 can request a non-certified version.

The price of the Lynx headset will also increase due to rising component costs. Pre-orders will be served at the price they ordered.

Lynx controllers are expected to launch in Q3 2023 and have been completely redesigned. SteamVR controller support is also on the way. Manual tracking remains the primary interface.

You can find more information on the Lynx blog.

October 11 update:

Lynx launches the new Lynx portal for interested developers. Here you can access the Unity3D SDK, soon the Lynx SDK and the App Store as well as a first documentation.

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Original article from October 2:

Lynx founder Stan Larroque announces that the delivery of the first units of the R1 mixed reality headset will be postponed until November 10-15.

In a live Youtube update, Larroque says production has already begun and he plans to provide more production information in October. He says the repeated delay of the headset is solely due to the crisis with semiconductor manufacturers. “It’s a constant war with suppliers in Taiwan.”

On October 10, Lynx plans to release the OpenXR and Unity SDK for Lynx R1 on its website. Unreal should follow by the end of the year.

Lynx founder isn’t afraid of the competition

Larroque isn’t afraid of mixed reality competition from big manufacturers like Meta, Pico, and Apple, which are entering the market around the same time.

Lynx R1 probably can’t compete in VR mode, but as far as it knows, it offers a better AR and XR experience, Larroque says. He mentions in particular the fluid transition between the real world out of frame and the video image on the screens of the helmet.

He also said the in-house developed Lynx lens is arguably superior to pancake lenses in future helmets. “We don’t lose as much light, so we have much better contrast,” says Larroque. He thinks the XR helmet he invented years ago can technically keep up with the competition.

Mixed reality will be the new normal

Larroque also expects the term “mixed reality” to become the norm, replacing the terms VR and AR. “Big names like Meta and Apple will all direct their marketing there,” says Larroque.

Larroque isn’t afraid of competition either because his France-based company has a “traditionally European” business model: Lynx sells headsets and the associated ecosystem for profit, he says. Social media companies like Meta or Pico would sell headsets at a loss for reasons, by which it probably involves exploiting user data.

“You don’t buy a headset from Meta or Pico, they buy you,” says Larroque. Starting in November, Lynx will hire a new spokesperson to convey these points more professionally than before.


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