Lynx R-1, the upcoming standalone MR headset, has been delayed to late 2020, but a new update from the company says they’re targeting a lower price and now including Ultraleap hand-tracking.

In a recent live-stream, Lynx founder Stan Larroque shared progress on the company’s upcoming MR headset which is being designed with AR-passthrough and VR capabilities in mind. The headset was first revealed earlier this year and said to include Snapdragon XR2, eye-tracking, and novel optics. The company expected the Lynx R-1 headset to begin shipping by the Summer, priced at $1,500, and had begun accepting partial deposit pre-orders.

As of this week, the company now says, a small batch of prototypes are being sent out to partners, but the first batch of production units won’t be shipped until late 2020. The Coronavirus pandemic was mentioned as one reason for the delay, which ultimately led the company to a redesign of the headset which was revealed back in July. Larroque said the company is expecting to lower the price of the Lynx R-1 but hasn’t confirmed the new price yet.

Larroque also shared that the headset will include Ultraleap ‘Gemini’ hand-tracking; the latest renders and prototypes of the Lynx R-1 now show a new spot on the front which he says is an infrared illuminator for the hand-tracking system. Ultraleap’s hand-tracking is recognized as perhaps the best commercially-available hand-tracking solution. It was also said that the company is evaluating controllers from Finch as a potential controller solution.

During the livestream the company showed a brief look at the unique displays used in Lynx R-1 and confirmed they are being made by JDI (Japan Display Inc.). Each eye of the headset will use one of the displays with a resolution of 1,600 × 1,600 @ 90Hz.

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Image courtesy Lynx

Atop the displays rests the Lynx R-1 lenses which are unique compared to other headsets available on the market today.

Image courtesy Lynx

Larroque says the novel design allows the eye to come closer to the lens (to make the headset more compact overall) and for a hidden eye-tracking camera to be placed directly in the center of the lens for accurate eye-tracking. He showed a sample of the image distortion pattern which is used to counteract the distortion introduced by the lens.

Image courtesy Lynx

Because of the unique shape of the lens, Larroque says the headset’s resolution will be concentrated at the center of the lens and along the horizontal & vertical axes. We’re quite interested to see if the seams between each part of the lens will be well hidden or not.

Larroque further confirmed a handful of other Lynx R-1 details, including the size of the battery at 8600mAh, which the company expects will last for “four hours of intense use.” The headset will also include hidden magnets around both pass-through cameras so that optical add-ons can be easily attached; the company plans to release the 3D files needed to design add-ons that would correctly fit with the magnets and the shape of the headset’s faceplate.

Image courtesy Lynx

The company says it’s also working on a special variant of the Lynx headset which has HDR pass-through cameras for firefighters and other niche use-cases which involve environments with extreme brightness and contrast.

On the software side, Larroque affirmed that the headset is built on Android 10, and the company is presently working on building an open-source launcher with sample apps for the headset. Lynx is aiming to support OpenXR and Unity as a development environment (ostensibly Unreal Engine 4 would work equally well once OpenXR implementations are tested and complete). According to the company, developers will be able to access the raw point-cloud of the headset’s 6DOF tracking API, along with plane detection and depth mapping.

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While the Lynx R-1 is a standalone headset powered by Snapdragon XR2, Larroque confirmed it will support apps running on PC hardware via remote rendering which can be sent to the headset via USB-C or WiFi 6. He also said the headset’s pass-through latency is expected to fall between 12 and 15 milliseconds.

Lynx is planning another update next month in which it plans to show some ‘through the lens’ footage.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Wow dude

    1500 seesh

    • Lhorkan

      The Hololens 2, which this would be competing against, is $3500, so I’d say it’s a pretty great price.

      • TechPassion

        He added a 5 USD camera on the front and price jumped from a reasonable 400 USD to 1500 USD?

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Where was it mentioned it was originally 400?

          • TechPassion

            Similar spec headsets cost that much. 400-600, not 1500.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Different lenses (so also different R&D costs to recoup), also where are the headsets for around 400 wich also have eytracking?

        • dk

          yes but also eye tracking and expensive lenses ….and they can’t get money from selling software/games like facebook so they have to get their investment back mainly from the hardware

      • K

        Hololens is expensive too.

      • dk

        people keep saying that ….it’s not meant to compete with the hololens….the hololens gives u basically perfect view of the external world full fov perfect angular resolution no vergence accomodation conflict

        ….it competes with quest plus rgb pass through cameras …..someone should make an add on like that for quest …something like the zed mini

  • Liam Mulligan

    Amazing specs. Hoping controllers can be shipped as a standard.

  • Cool. Actually we are already in “Late 2020”, if I remember well, in another post, they exactly claimed a December release date

  • oomph

    Thumbs up
    This shows evolution of lens which is futuristic. Whereas in other VR headsets it remained primitive/simple one i.e high school science optics.
    And it is standalone wow.
    (also not linked to FB a/c, another thumbs up)

    • dk

      yes and $1500
      …others use the fresnel lenses because it’s the affordable good enough way to go ….unfortunately no one is using pancake lenses in a commercial product yet but that will just shrink the box not give u opportunity to put eye tracking camera in the middle like lynx

  • kontis

    This distortion looks scary. Does it need 4 views per eye? If so this could affect performance more than the pixel concentration wins they talk about. Opengl and Vulkan have multiview support, but I assume there must be an overhead as rendering multiple perspectives is never free in rasterisation.

    • Ama Trykowski

      You can do a lot of things with the display logic board as long no other picture manipulation is required. Overlapping a part of a picture or moving it is no big deal. You are even able to hard wire such things resulting in 0 post processing delay.