French startup Lynx launched the long-awaited Kickstarter campaign for Lynx R-1 earlier this month, a standalone MR headset (capable of both VR and passthrough AR). Starting at €530 (or $500 if you’re not subject to European sales tax), the headset passed its initial funding goal in under 15 hours of launch and is now well on its way to doubling it.

Update (October 15th, 2021): Less than two weeks since its launch, the Lynx Kickstart is approaching twice is funding goal, currently sitting at €488,000 of €300,000 (~$567,000 of ~$348,000). With 24 days remaining, the project looks likely to exceed the double mark and then some.

The project has also revealed its first set of stretch goals:

  • $700,000 – Extra face pace
  • $1,000,000 – 128GB SD card & 2M USB-C cable
  • $1,500,000 – Option for $50 travel case (photo here)

The company says it may add additional stretch goals moving forward.

Lynx also shared a demo of the headsets hand-tracking in action (which is powered by Ultraleap):

Update (October 6th, 2021): The Lynx R-1 campaign has passed its €300,000 goal, and now sits at around €320,000 nearly one full day later. There’s still no talk of stretch goals, although if it keeps up its current pace we that may change here soon.

Lynx also provided an update this morning to clarify that Lynx R-1 does indeed cost $500 for people not subject to European/French value-added tax (VAT). It was previously reported that the Early Bird tier was around $615, however it now the creators have created a dedicated funding tier without VAT for non-EU backers. We’ve made note of these changes in the article below, and have adjusted all pricing tiers.

Original Article (October 5th, 2021): Lynx R-1 features the same Qualcomm XR2 chipset as Oculus Quest 2 and HTC Vive Focus 3, and like those two it’s also based on a heavily modified version of Android. Plug it into a VR-capable computer, and the creators say you’ll be able to play SteamVR content too when it launches next year. Jump to the Kickstarter here if you already know what’s up.

For everyone else: what sets it apart though is it’s tuned from the ground-up to play full VR games and do both passthrough augmented reality, making it a mixed reality headset by definition. Another hardware quirk: it also features a novel optic called a “four-fold catadioptric freeform prism,” which is said to slim down the size of Lynx R-1 seemingly beyond what current Fresnel-style lenses have achieved. More on specs below.

Lynx is hoping to appeal to a pretty wide swath of would-be backers, as it offers both a Professional Edition starting at €950 (or $900 without VAT) and a consumer-oriented version at €530 (or $500).

A Limited Edition version is also available for €745 (or $700 without VAT), which features a fully transparent faceplate. Only 1,000 of those are being made available through the campaign, so get ’em while they’re hot.

Initially started as an enterprise-focused company, Lynx R-1 Professional Edition offers few things over the consumer version; with that tier, you can resell the headset and also receive pro-level support from Lynx. All headsets—save the €4,999 tier where backers can meet the team and receive a signed model a month early—are slated to ship in April 2022.

Image courtesy Lynx

All versions are also coming with a 1m USB-C cable, USB-C Charger, VR facial interface for a more immersive experience, and fabric headstrap for added comfort.

Since it relies on hand tracking, motion controllers aren’t the ‘out-of-the-box’ control method. CEO Stan Larroque tells Road to VR that its 6DOF controllers are based on Finch Technologies ‘Shift’ controller hardware, something we’ve seen in practice with HTC Vive Focus in the past. Those are available as a separate €100 (or $90 without VAT) add-on tier via the headset’s Kickstarter.

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The campaign is shooting for €300,000 (~$350,000) for its initial funding goal, although we can bet it will go well beyond that if any of the recent VR hardware campaigns from this past year are any indication. Tundra Tracker, a small motion device using the SteamVR tracking standard, managed to net over $1 million back in April, and the Yaw2 motion simulator chair garnered a whopping $2.7 million in June.

Here’s a look at the headset’s specs.

Lynx R-1 Specs

  • 1,600 × 1,600 LCD @90Hz per eye, with ultra low-latency Color Passthrough for Augmented Reality
  • Qualcomm XR2 chipset with 6GB of RAM and 128GB internal storage
  • 6DOF rom-scale
  • Optical Hand tracking
  • Cameras: 2 B&W for positional, 2 IR cameras for hand tracking, 2 visible light cameras for passthrough
  • WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5
  • PCVR compatible with SteamVR over WiFi
  • SD card slot for up to 1TB of external storage
  • Two stereo speakers, 4 microphone array and a 3.5mm Jack TRRS
  • Eye Relief: 13mm, Eye-Box: 11mm
  • Battery life: estimated 3 hours

Check out the Lynx Kickstarter here

Additional reporting by Ben Lang

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  • MorganWatson

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  • MorganWatson

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  • Sven Viking

    No FOV specs?

    • Hivemind9000

      Buried in the spec sheet (linked in the Kickstarter):

      FoV/PPD: 90° (circular) / 18 (with super resolution)

      • Sven Viking

        That’s actually not bad for this form factor.

      • Lucidfeuer

        I almost passed and trash the info for my colleagues because of them burying the spec. Which is a shame because it’s not bad for the form-factor as someone said.

    • Bob

      About the same as the CV1.

  • Ad

    I was annoyed about the pricing issue but after that was settled I’m convinced. I want an AR headset, I see value in my AR device being standalone, and this seems cool. No controllers is an issue but not that big a deal for AR and basic VR.

    • Xron

      Augmented Reality headsets should be used outdoors… and I guess you don’t want to wear a helmet outside? So lets wait for Ar glasses… .

  • Very interesting headset… let’s hope they can deliver it!

  • VRFriend

    Basically, looking for fools to sponsor them. Never pay upfront. See what happens with DecaGear:) Release moved to the end of next year and specs stay the same ;)

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    • falls to knees
      Thank you, dear God, for finally sending upon this Earth
      someone who is actually using their brain and see this
      Lynx & DecaGear nonsense for the scam that they really & truly is.

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    • Andrew Jakobs

      Except Kickstarter isn’t a webshop, it’s an investment with a bonus of getting the product if you’ve invested beyond a specific point.

      • ViRGiN

        That’s something a Kickstarter fanboy would say to dismiss any criticism, and something even campaign creators like to point out after crowdfunding is over.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          No, that’s actually what kickstarter and many ‘crowdfunding’ sites ARE.. never used kickstarter in my life, so no fanboy here..

          • ViRGiN

            It’s not an investment, more like donation, with no real obligation for the other side to deliver anything to you.

          • shadow9d9

            What they say and what they do are different.

    • Hivemind9000

      If everyone thought like you, the current VR market probably wouldn’t exist. The original Oculus DK1 headset was a Kickstarter project. I backed the original DK1 and the Pimax, and have no regrets doing so as I understood what could potentially go wrong going into it (mostly, delays).

      If you haven’t the money or stomach for it, fair enough – don’t do it. But calling people fools for wanting to advance VR and get ahead of the curve is very ungenerous.

      You should change your handle to VREnemy…

  • Arturs Gerskovics

    Nice headset but not so nice controller system.. tracking & controllers are almost more important than the headset imo. Im not convinced somehow, even though price range is fine. Waiting on hands on first.

  • Tommy

    I’m not too keen on the resolution. The refresh rate is standard but the 1TB external SD storage is VERY nice :)

  • Liam Mulligan

    Been looking forward to the Lynx for a long time, if you have followed the progress the team has been extremely generous with sharing with the community and deserve credit for this feat of engineering. It looks great, can’t wait to test.

  • ViRGiN

    The faster crowdfunding reaches it’s goal, the biggest the flop.
    That’s like 850 worth of Quests 2.
    Insanely small number that will read to nowhere.

  • LiquidKaos

    If you weren’t connecting to PC, where would the games come from?

  • Lucidfeuer

    FFS it should be illegal by regulation to sell any HMD without properly displaying FOV° specs. I almost discarding this as a scam until I found out it has decent FOV for it’s form-factor, the problem being that there is not a single coherent explanation of how the optic works, and with that small of a team…I’m skeptical even though the price is very affordable.

  • Remco

    All the warnings about kickstarter projects are completely justified. However, as I’ve been following the Lynx team for the past couple of months in their buildup to this campaign, I think the project has a lot of merrit. They’ve procured the most in demand electronics and production capacity in advance and they have communicated where and by whom the devices will be produced.

    I’m backing this project specifically because I believe that the industry is in need of a new manufacturer that sells devices not userdata. And I believe Lynx could be it.

    I do think there are a couple of risks to keep in mind:
    1. I believe the HMDs will be produced roughly in accordance with their timeline. However, I expect the controllers to become delayed. Simply because the production of controllers is only recently added to the scope of the project.

    2. The lynx team is very talented and them being bought by a lager company is real risk.

    3. Their communication strategy is refreshing. Stan is more than willing to share the good, bad and ugly of their work and proces. And even though everything Stan had promissed so far has come true, they are usually a little bit behind schedule. Also they do not create any sexy marketing content (other than the price reveal and the kickstarter video) which actually makes it more difficult to give it credibility in my opinion.

    Anyway, early next week the first 3rd party reviews will become available and I’m very interested to hear their opinions.

    I guess what I was saying is: Yes, do your research and be careful with your attitude towards (hardware) kickstarter. But when you do your research, and trace back this project for about 2 years, I think you’ll find it difficult to name it a scam.

  • Ad

    I think the hardware stretch goals should be software. These aren’t very interesting and don’t touch people’s actual concerns. Software, OpenXR, controllers, etc.

  • MosBen

    There is a lot of VR news left to come out in the next several weeks. I’m going to wait to see if anything interesting gets announced, but I’m strongly considering backing the Lynx.

  • VRFriend

    1600×1600 in 2021 is a thanks, but no. I was expecting 3000×3000 per eye from this future device.

    • Remco

      That’s great! Can you point me to the 90° vof AR glasses with full RGB pass through (below 20ms) that have that resolution? Outside, standalone operation would be a big plus. I wouldn’t mind paying a bit more than the €500,- if they have it in stock.

      • ViRGiN

        Fun fact, this isn’t in stock either

        • Remco

          I know, that’s why I’m willing to pay more for one that is. Just not the 5k + sub from varjo. Although I’d love to experience that one.

  • Alexander Sears

    Given the media presence of both Lynx and Deca, I have little suspicion to believe they’re running a “scam”. At worst they’ll underdeliver or delivery dates will be pushed back by supply chain issues. We’ll see what we’ll see when reviewers get their hands on review units.

    • ViRGiN

      Supply chain “issues”. Delays are guaranteed, and with stretch goals, that’s double confirmed.

      Remember, every Kickstarter ever is always doing well and great, and shortly before arrival date they always find last minute issues, and like in every Kickstarter, there will be those guys who claim “better polish than rush out”, but it’s never becoming polished, and always rushed out and delayed.