French startup Lynx launched a Kickstarter campaign for Lynx R-1 in October, a standalone MR headset which is capable of both VR and passthrough AR. Starting at €530 (or $500 if you’re not subject to European sales tax), the MR headset attracted a strong response from backers as it passed its initial funding goal in under 15 hours, going on to garner over $800,000 throughout the month-long campaign.

Update (November 10th, 2021): Lynx R-1 Kickstarter is now over, and it’s attracted €725,281 (~$835,000) from 1,216 backers. In the final hours the campaign managed to pass its first stretch goal at $700,000—a free facial interface pad.

If you missed out, the company is now offering direct preorders for both its Standard Edition for $600 and Enterprise Edition for $1,100. It’s also selling a few accessories including compatible 6DOF controllers, facial interfaces, and a travel case.

Previous updates to this article have been included at the bottom, which include a play-by-play of its progress and additional stretch goals.

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.

SEE ALSO
Lynx Mixed Reality Headset to Start at $500 via Kickstarter in Late September

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

Update (November 1st, 2021): The Lynx Kickstarter has doubled its funding goal, currently at €600,000 of €300,000 (~$693,000 of $346,500). One week remains in the headset’s crowdfunding campaign which expects its first shipments in April 2022.

The Lnyx team recently showed a closer look at the headset’s Ultraleap-based hand-tracking capabilities, including occlusion and drawing.

The company plans to livestream an update on November 4th which it says will cover topics like SteamVR, the headset’s developer SDK, and the upcoming AWE event which Lynx plans to attend.


Update (October 15th, 2021): Less than two weeks since its launch, the Lynx Kickstart is approaching twice is funding goal, currently sitting at c488,000 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 pad
  • $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.

Additional reporting by Ben Lang

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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
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      Lynx & DecaGear nonsense for the scam that they really & truly is.
      Amen.

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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…

      • VRFriend

        VRFriend of good VR, not crap VR or money suckers like Magic Flip…

      • ViRGiN

        If everyone thought like you did 3+ years ago, 200+ FOV would be a standard and it never was. You’re shilling for pimax, without even mentioning that company name. After all, you’re extremely heavily invested moderator.

        • Hivemind9000

          Shilling for Pimax… how so? I was talking about Lynx and Kickstarters. Logic and reason not your strong suits?

    • Ott

      Product’s done, this is literally just to get their supply chain moving at volume.

      • ViRGiN

        Yeah sure, heard it gazillion times. Keep shilling, Lynx Product Manager

  • 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.

    • Ott

      Looks like they’re using a hybrid approach with IMU data from the controllers and 6DOF positioning from the hand trackers.

      • ViRGiN

        That’s what they told ya.

        • trash trash

          should actually be essentially open source for controllers so you can use steam vr if you’d like

  • 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?

    • Ott

      SideQuest

  • 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.

    • trash trash

      2 years of shown work is a little difficult to call a scam haha

  • 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.

    • VRFriend

      They offer an extra bag for extra hundreds of thousands of dollars? It is a joke or what?

  • 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

      Outdated hardware. The day it is released it will be like VR headset from 2016.

      • MosBen

        I mean, it’s got the XR2, which is the chip in the Quest 2, and the per eye looks to be better than the Index, unless I’m missing something? Certainly not pushing the boundaries of HMD tech, but not that far behind the current standard. And not being from Facebook is pretty appealing.

        • VRFriend

          XR2 is a toy in reality. This is not present time product, but future time product. With very low resolution per eye even in 2019.

        • ViRGiN

          XR2 was released in 2020 product, we are nearly into 2022, and Lynx is 10000000% guaranteed to be delayed, for whatever reason that sounds plausible at the deadline moment. Covid is always a great excuse, valid or not.

  • 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.

      • VRFriend

        I prefer Hololens where I look comfortably through transparent glasses and not tight lens like this thing. It is a VR headset in your face. Bad design. Should be transparent glass with built-in flexible display for 180 degree of view. Wide, transparent, flexible display in a transparent glass window. Otherwise it is a crap, not AR.

        • Ott

          Okay! Have fun with your transparent objects and FOV the size of a credit card.

          • ViRGiN

            Have fun downvoting comments that you don’t agree with! Cheers! Bye! LMAO

  • 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.

      • trash trash

        also lynx has been super open about everything even willing to jump into unofficial discords and answer questions, host live streams and even attend conferences (AWE2021), demos, youtuber tests….
        but we’ll have to see….

  • JesuSaveSouls

    I have a quest 2 and 5k plus. Awaiting san andreas vr. Pimax Reality is expensive but loaded with specs.

    • ViRGiN

      It’s fake until proven otherwise; given all the evidence pimax has delivered over the years. On top of that, they encourage people to buy all their headsets today, to get full price discount on the 12K. Sounds like they desperatly need more money, despite getting 20 millions from investors.

      • Hivemind9000

        Not quite. They have offered a full discount for anyone who has already bought a headset from them, which is a completely different thing and raises a different concern about how can they afford to do that unless their margins are unbelievably good.

        • ViRGiN

          They offered an offer, with no details. Watch how they will demand you to send your headset back, and sell sweaty one to the next unknowing person.
          Why after all these years and millions of unfulfilled promises you’re still with them? What a weird hill to die on.

  • xyzs

    I wish them good luck, that’s gonna be though against Meta, Pico, Valve, and other giants with near infinite RnD money.
    Unlike software, where a few genius in a bedroom can craft the best solution in the world, for hardware it’s an other story.

  • ViRGiN

    The more they raise, the more delayed they will be. Simple fact.

    • dk

      it’s for rich enthusiasts with spare money so a couple of months later wouldn’t matter …plus I think Stan was saying they will make orders after they know the number of backers so the timeline will be clear when they know the number

      • ViRGiN

        So the “estimates” are just a placeholder? It’s designed to be misleading. It’s always a tactic to get you to spend money now, cause it’s cheaper than when it hits retail (usually it’s not for tons of smaller things) and it’s shipping soon. If they were semi realistic and let’s say target January 2023, most wouldn’t participate.

  • VRFriend

    800 000 USD more, to offer people 128GB card (20 USD cost!) and a bag! a bag!!!
    It this project a f joke?

    • ViRGiN

      Always has been.
      Bought by customers for something that is meant for developers.
      Every X-reality crowdfunding was a pure failure outside original Oculus Rift in 2012. Sure, many has succesfully reached their money target, and 100% completly failed delivering even a quarter of the campaign vision.
      No surprises here.

      When was the last time you heard about Decagear? Sure, they never launched kickstarter, instead went directly to $10 “reserve a spot” method and missed every single deadline ever they have set for themselves.

      We seriously need someone like Trump to criminalize these scumbags lol. Someone is telling me that the technology replacing phones needs to be crowdfunded? Like there is not enough venture capitalists ready to throw money at it?

      Lynx is crowdfunded, because everyone real who was close it could see how undeveloped it is, and how complicated the subject is without pouring at least 10000x what they are looking for.

      • VRFriend

        well said.

  • That Finch Technologies controller they are trying to fall back on isn’t really a true 6DOF controller, like the Oculus Touch. It’s just some IMU’s and math *attempting* to pull off real positional tracking. If this is their “best plan” for controllers, it’s VERY BAD.

    As for hand-tracking, that’s has extremely limited use cases. Basically you sit in place and fumble with things inaccurately. You can push buttons, maybe move some blocks around if you’re lucky. It’s going to leave this headset cut-off from the majority of VR experiences.

    Yet another intriguing headset, like the VIVE Flow, with questionable usefulness. Good controllers aren’t “optional accessories”, they are NECESSARY accessories!

    • ViRGiN

      Just look at Ultraleap. Nearly a decade of “constant improvements”, and their latest promo video is literally waving hands without any sense, and spawning cubes, exactly like back in 2012.

  • dk

    hmm 1013 backers ….u can no longer just say there r hundreds of us

    • ViRGiN

      943 paid enough for a headset, so, still just into hundreds.

      Clearly people are tired of kick-starts. Pimax raised 4.5 million…

      This is 700k with 7 days to go is laughable.

  • MosBen

    I ultimately decided to take a pass on this one. I like the look of it, but since the campaign was successful I decided to just wait until the thing is released and some formal reviews come out. Sometimes it’s nice to get in on the ground floor and get the Kickstarter price, but I can live with paying a little more if it turns out to work well.

    I hope that it turns out great though. We need more competition for the Quest.

  • oomph2

    Had they asked for other currencies & hosted their request on steam platform , I could have given also

    • Andrew Jakobs

      huh? what does currency has to do? And Steam isn’t a crowdfunding site..

  • Arno van Wingerde

    Hm… I don’t get it: $800000 means about 5 man years – give or take and that is without considering the costs of the components and the tooling… So the backers expect 5 people to deliver this in one year? Seriously?
    The bump in the background is Mark Zuckerberg rolling over the floor, laughing… To get the ide is one thing, make it into a functional prototype another, setting up real production yet another and creating a complete ecosystem around it … nice idea, but come on!