Enterprise-focused headset startup LYNX introduced its MR headset—designed for both VR and pass-through AR—in early 2020. Today the company revealed a redesign which makes the headset even more compact, and aims to maximize the user’s peripheral view for pass-through AR. Production units of the headset are expected to start shipping in September.

Lynx-R1 is an MR headset (designed around both VR and pass-through AR capabilities). At $1,500, the headset is aimed squarely at the enterprise market.

Compact Redesign

When the company introduced the headset earlier this year, it said that its compact design was thanks largely to novel “light folding” optics which not only decreases the distance between the lenses and the display, but also ‘hide’ and eye-tracking camera directly at the center of the lens.

Image courtesy Lynx

Today the company revealed a significant redesign of the headset which makes the it even more compact, and aims to maximize the user’s peripheral field of view when used in AR mode.

Lynx display module compared to a consumer VR headset. This comparison is somewhat exaggerated because the lenses of the headset on the left do not protrude quite as far as the housing implies. | Image courtesy Lynx

The reduction in size seems to be achieved largely from making the headset’s four cameras (two for pass-through and two for tracking) thinner, and moving more components to the back of the headset.

Maximizing Peripheral View

For AR, the R1 uses a pass-through view from the cameras allowing the user ‘see through’ the headset into the real world. Virtual imagery can be projected onto that pass-through view, creating an augmented reality experience. Compared to many AR headsets which use transparent displays, the pass-through approach brings a much wider field of view and full opacity & brightness control over the virtual objects. There’s downsides too, though, such as the pass-through view not being as high resolution as your eyes would see the real world through a transparent display.

Lynx-R1 with face gasket in place for VR mode | Image courtesy Lynx

While the R1 has a face gasket to keep light out when used purely in VR mode, the gasket can be removed in AR mode so that users can continue to see the real world in their peripheral vision.

Lynx-R1 with face gasket removed for AR mode | Image courtesy Lynx

Lynx says the geometry of the front module has been specifically designed to maximize the user’s real-world peripheral view by minimizing the gap between the headset’s display and the user’s peripheral vision—this is akin to minimizing the bezel on a TV or computer monitor such that there’s minimal black space separating the display from the background of the real world.

Image courtesy Lynx

Lynx-R1 Specs

The company also shared the latest and most detailed specs of the Lynx-R1 headset:

Display

  • 90 degree field-of-view (circular)
  • 1,600 × 1,600 LCD display per-eye
  • 90Hz refresh rate
  • Physical IPD adjustment

Hardware

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
  • 6GB RAM (LPDDR5)
  • 128GB storage (+ microSD expansion slot)
  • Optional 5G module
  • USB-C, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5

Features

  • Eye-tracking
  • Hand-tracking
  • Compatible with future 3DOF and 6DOF controllers
  • 3 hours of battery life

Release Date

When Lynx revealed its headset earlier this year it began taking pre-orders and expected to ship the first units this Summer. Pre-orders continue, but the company says the Coronavirus pandemic delayed those plans, but also gave time for the headset’s redesign. Now the company expects the Lynx-R1 will enter production in September and the first units will ship later that month.

White-label and Next Funding Round

In addition to selling the R1 outright, Lynx says it will also offer the headset as a ‘white-label’ device, meaning the headset can be customized for specific hardware needs and branding. The company gave the example of one custom version of the headset built for a client which incorporated HDR cameras on the front of the headset so that users could see in situations that were too bright for normal viewing (ie: welding).

And finally, Lynx said that the company is actively raising a Series A investment, which would follow $2 million in early funding raised through 2019.

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. See here for more information.


  • dk
    • Rosemary

      I lost my job after doing work for the same workplace for several years, I expected authentic revenues, I was not searching for the “get rich quick” home packages as you can see across the internet. Those are usually pyramid system or stuff that you have to sell off to your folks or persons in the family. Just a few months ago I stumbled upon a wonderful on-line job prospect. Using the net I receive around 5,000 to 6,000 US dollars each and every 1 month It is absolutely enough to quite easily replace my old professions income, precisely considering I just do the work approximately 20 hours weekly at home. I basically wanted a trustworthy program to earn a living for me as well as my family. The most exciting part of earning a living via internet is that I am normally home with the the children, I save a good amount of money. Actually, it is easier than you might believe. I obtained the information kit and within 4 weeks I started off generating over 4,000 bucks monthly. The guidelines are incredibly simple, you do not have to be a computer expert, however you should know how to use the internet. If you can fill forms and also browse sites, you can actually do it without difficulty, You do not even have to sell off something and no one needs to purchase something. It is truly as simple as using Fb or twitter.Here’s the simplest way to start >>> https://krowdy.co/9fof

      • dk

        yep u can definitely make money from having bots …I should get some of those

  • Ad

    This is really interesting but it’s disappointing there are no controllers. But I guess as a dev kit for AR glasses it makes sense. AR mode looks really uncomfortable though.

    • silvaring

      Hand tracking via Infared Emmiters… so you still think hand tracking is not viable?

      • Ad

        Yes, obviously.

        • silvaring

          But its not just infrared is it? They are also using optical sensors in conjunction with the infrared.

          • Ad

            So?

          • silvaring

            I don’t know, maybe occlusion or latency issues are optomized with the optical cameras working alongside infrared. You’re basically (in your other post where you said hand tracking wasn’t viable) judging hand tracking quality based on the Quest, which only uses optical (no infrared), instead of something more advanced (like the Hololens).

          • Ad

            I’m judging it based on the leap, quest, and hololens.

  • kontis

    Those specs are incredibly “enterprise”.

    I guess this low resolution is caused by enterprise not being able to afford a PC that can handle to render more pixels otherwise they would definitely put more pixels inside (that’s how it works). At least that’s the theory VR community is BS-ing about all the time…

  • MW

    Interesting idea (MR headset) but why I should buy this, over also small, much cheaper and better (fov, res., tracking, controllers) Rift S? For AR only? What kind of business needs this kind of expensive ‘enterprise’ hardware?

    • Rogue Transfer

      The Rift S has a smaller horizontal FOV, typically ~85°(with a max of 90°) and worse resolution at only 1280×1440 versus 1600×1600 per eye.

      As mentioned in the article, this does both AR and VR(see the image with the removable shroud).

      The main thing lacking(and it’s a big thing!) is the lack of 6DOF controllers and all they bring.

      • silvaring

        What are your thoughts on Qualcomm using an IR Emitter for hand tracking? That caught me by surprise.

    • Moe Curley

      You absolutely shouldn’t and they’re not trying to convince you to. This is a small and light enterprise device.
      ” What kind of business needs this kind of expensive ‘enterprise’ hardware?”
      Architects, Real estate, Automotive, Industrial design, Civil Engineering, Medical, Education and on and on.

  • get lost

    ’90 degree field-of-view’. Seems to me that the box is not the only thing they are shrinking. Pass

  • It is all very interesting (including the optional 5G mode) if not for the lack of controllers… that one is a bit disappointing. Also the design is quite horrible to be seen

  • This would be extremely amazing… if…. I believed them. This is nearly 1/3 the size of their last head, just 5 months later. What changed??

    I would really like to hear from someone who’s tried it. It’s just a little too good to be true. There’s got to be a catch, as I can’t imagine Oculus wouldn’t have tried this same setup at some point, and likely found it wanting.

    Beyond that, it doesn’t seem like using just 2 cameras for inside-out tracking is great idea. It’s definitely not based on Lighthouse. And no suggestions for hand tracking. I’d guess they are angling to sell this technology to a 3rd party at some point?

    If, and it’s a big IF, this display tech is on the level, Oculus should buy this up before the scoundrels at Apple get wind of it. It would be a SERIOUS game-changer. Of course, that’s *IF* it really works.

    • Rogue Transfer

      *Facebook, you mean. Oculus no longer exists as a company or subsidiary since 2018 – it’s now just a Facebook platform & brand name for the Facebook AR/VR division(which the former Oculus teams were merged into, under Facebook’s Portal chief).

      It’s been Facebook Technologies Ltd. driving this for a long time now.

      • Yah, I do mean Facebook. I know it, you know it, the watered down Quest Lite knows it. If Facebook doesn’t want their investment to evaporate overnight, FACEBOOK needs this tech in their headsets.

      • Oh yeah …?? Then why’s it called “Oculus Connect”
        and not “Facebook Connect”, hmm …??

      • Andrew Jakobs

        It’s still Oculus ‘from facebook’… Just look at their own oculus website..

    • Moe Curley

      You can’t judge this headset by comparing it to consumer VR devices. This headset would not fit the Oculus/Facebook/consumer business model at all. This device absolutely exists as described but I think you may be misinterpreting their claims. It doesn’t need behind the back tracking for it’s use model. This is a “small and light” business multi-purpose device. “Small and light” being the operative words. It will blow other devices out of the water in those respects.
      Future iterations? That’s another story. There’s a lot of potential to these folded path lenses.

      • Back tracking? Inside-Out tracking! I think you’re confused… in both your statement and what I was saying.

        • Moe Curley

          Are you familiar with the term “behind the back tracking” Walt?

  • Will this be the ONLY XR2-based standalone,
    enterprise or otherwise, released this year …?
    Qualcomm said FIVE of them would come out in 2020,
    yet so far, all I see is this one. What gives …?

  • duck

    wonderful
    thumbs up

    • dk

      yep small headsets r pretty close https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3aEHGQoa80&t=345s something like this with 2 or more cameras for 6dof tracking ….and I’ll be quite happy with the form factor of vr headsets …..this one is 90fov so not too low but oculus were saying that u can get big fov with pancake lenses so that won’t be a problem

  • silvaring

    Some more info on the hand tracking in Qualcomms reference design – “Snapdragon XR2 introduces support for seven (7) concurrent cameras and a custom
    computer vision processor. Multiple concurrent cameras enable real-time
    and highly accurate tracking of the head, lips and eyes together with
    26-point skeletal hand tracking.” Then in Feb 2020 it was revealed their reference design used ‘IR Emitters’ for hand tracking.