LYNX is a startup constructing a standalone MR headset that’s primarily targeted on passthrough AR eventualities for enterprise purposes. The France-based firm revealed its R-1 headset earlier this month and expects to ship the primary items this Summer season for $1,500. We spoke to founder Stan Larroque to study extra concerning the firm’s background, ambitions, and tech.
Extra on Lynx R-1
Picture courtesy Lynx
Talking with Highway to VR, Lynx founder Stan Larroque mentioned that his firm has raised $2 million as of 2019, and is presently in talks with buyers for the corporate’s subsequent funding spherical.
With $2 million raised Lynx remains to be very a lot within the early startup stage; whereas this quantity is only a drop within the bucket in comparison with the sources of XR incumbents, it’s a place to begin just like Oculus which bought its begin after elevating $2.four million on Kickstarter again in 2012.
Moreover, $2 million goes additional at present towards a creating an XR headset than it did years in the past due to extra available and mature , provide chains, and software program. For example, the Lynx R-1 will use Qualcomm’s made-for-XR chip, Snapdragon XR2, and Lynx has a number of different big shortcuts to market that weren’t accessible to corporations just some years in the past.
Software program & Content material
Picture courtesy Lnyx
A kind of shortcuts to market comes by means of Qualcomm’s accelerator program and its XR SDK. Qualcomm helps companions with and software program reference designs which act as blueprints for corporations like Lynx to rapidly commercialize headsets. The Qualcomm XR SDK contains core performance like inside-out head monitoring and the power to run purposes on a headset with out writing a brand new software framework from scratch.
Larroque tells us that Lynx R-1 will run Android 10 and the corporate will provide an SDK that’s constructed on high of the Qualcomm XR SDK. A Unity plugin might be supplied, and Larroque says the headset will assist OpenXR, which suggests any content material or developer instruments constructed towards that API ought to have little drawback getting up and operating on the R-1.
It’s nonetheless not clear if the corporate plans to function its personal storefront or (given the enterprise focus of the R-1) merely go away it as much as clients to accumulate and cargo content material inside their organizations as essential.
Larroque informed Highway to VR that the R-1 may assist tethering to PCs to run high-end content material that may be an excessive amount of for the headset’s standalone processor to deal with.
Lenses, Shows, & Manufacturability
Picture courtesy Lnyx
In comparison with different headsets available on the market, the Lynx R-1 is utilizing a unique lens which Larroque says reduces the space between your eye and the show, making the headset extra compact than if the corporate used a conventional lens. He additionally confirmed to Highway to VR that the Lynx R-1 will use the brand new VR shows from JDI that entered mass manufacturing this week.
The novel “gentle folding” optics additionally enable the R-1 to ‘cover’ an eye-tracking digital camera positioned immediately on the middle of the lens. This enables for the most effective view of the attention, which may enhance eye-tracking accuracy in comparison with different approaches which frequently view the attention from excessive angles.
Picture courtesy Lnyx
Clearly the R-1 lens is extra difficult than what’s seen in most modern headsets. Larroque informed Highway to VR, “it’s arduous to design, nevertheless it’s not arduous to fabricate,” when requested concerning the complexity of the optics. “It’s a easy block constructed utilizing injection molding. So the value shouldn’t be a difficulty,” he claimed.
One other advantage of the lens, Larroque mentioned, is optical supersampling; whereas the show itself has a decision of 1,600 × 1,600, the picture is cut up into 4 quadrants and reassembled within the lens the place parts of it are overlapped, which improves sharpness in these areas. Fortunately this strategy doesn’t require rendering 4 particular person views for every body; a shader is used to separate the picture appropriately in a single draw-call.
As for the ‘efficient decision’ Larroque mentioned, “you continue to have a 1,600 × 1,600 picture, however with a sharper feeling on the middle.”
The corporate says the R-1 may have a round area of view of 90 levels and 18 pixels-per diploma. If the supersampling works as described, the headset ought to have very spectacular readability, which might be essential as enterprise use-cases usually tend to require excessive textual content legibility than a gaming-focused headset. In comparison with headsets concentrating on related use-cases, like HoloLens and Magic Leap, at 90 levels, the R-1 would have a considerably bigger area of view for its AR content material than these headsets, although it will limit the person’s pure area of view by comparability.
– – — – –
Lynx expects to ship the R-1 beginning this Summer season. Priced at $1,500, the headset turned accessible for pre-order earlier this month.