Update from July 28, 2023:
The Lynx-R1 mixed reality headset will ship later than previously announced. In a Youtube livestream on July 27, the startup’s founder and CEO Stan Larroque announced the third week of August for the expected first shipment to backers. More should follow shortly thereafter.
Manufacturing partner Compal began production on July 24, with completion scheduled for August 10. Before shipping, the headsets will be sent to the company’s headquarters in Paris for quality control. The official store currently lists October 2023 as the delivery date for regular buyers.
The image calibration for the unusual four-piece prism lenses has been further improved, eliminating the slight edge distortion that was previously present. The manufacturer of the lenses, Limbak, has since been acquired by Apple. Lynx controllers are expected to be released later this year. During the stream, Larroque also announced a new Lynx portal that will host the SDK, documentation and downloads, as well as the Lynx-Appstore in the future.
Update from January 3, 2023:
The first batches of the Lynx R1 have arrived and are shipping directly, according to Lynx. The last status update from early December stated that the first copies would go to Kickstarter backers and experienced developers. Lynx plans to showcase some of the manufactured devices at CES 2023.
– Stan Larroque (@stanlarroque) January 2, 2023
Update from October 28:
Lynx has to announce another delay: The first headsets will not be delivered to Kickstarter backers until December instead of November, but here only in an uncertified version.
The uncertified version is identical to the mass-produced devices. The missing certification only refers to the final assembly, the individual components like battery and electronics are supposed to be certified. This version is supposed to be aimed at developers.
Those who need a fully certified version will not be supplied until the end of February. Customers who ordered via the website will also not be supplied until 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 higher component costs. Pre-orderers will be served at the price they ordered.
The Lynx controllers are expected to launch in the third quarter of 2023 and have been completely redesigned. SteamVR controller support is also in the works. Hand tracking stays the primary interface.
You can find more information on the Lynx blog.
Update from October 11:
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.
Original article from October 2:
Lynx founder Stan Larroque announces that the delivery of the first units of the mixed reality headset R1 will be postponed to November 10-15.
In a Youtube live update, Larroque says that production has already begun and he plans to provide more insight into production 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 Oct. 10, Lynx plans to release the OpenXR and Unity SDK for Lynx R1 on its website. Unreal is expected to follow by the end of the year.
Lynx founder is not afraid of competition
Larroque is not afraid of the mixed reality competition from large manufacturers such as Meta, Pico, and Apple, which are entering the market at about the same time.
Lynx R1 probably can’t compete on VR mode, but as far as he knows, it offers a better AR and XR experience, Larroque says. In particular, he mentions the seamless transition between the real world outside the frame and the video image on the headset’s screens.
He also said the Lynx lens, developed in-house, is arguably superior to the pancake lenses in upcoming headsets. “We don’t lose as much light, so we have much better contrast,” Larroque says. He believes that the XR headset he invented years ago can technically keep up with the competition.
Mixed reality will be the new standard
Larroque also expects the term “mixed reality” to become the standard, displacing the terms VR and AR. “The big names like Meta and Apple will all gear their marketing toward it,” Larroque says.
Larroque is also not afraid of the competition because his French-based company has a “traditionally European” business model: Lynx sells headsets and the associated ecosystem at a profit, he says. Social media companies like Meta or Pico would sell headsets at a loss for reasons, by which he likely implies the exploitation of user data.
“You don’t buy a headset from Meta or Pico, they buy you,” Larroque says. Starting in November, Lynx will hire a new spokesperson to convey these points in a more professional manner than before.