Lynx, a French startup, believes in the advantages of passthrough AR over transparent optics, and the recently published footage of its Lynx-R1 standalone mixed reality headset certainly looks convincing.
First announced in February 2020, the headset is equipped with multiple cameras that handle everything from positional tracking to eye tracking to video capture. Being a passthrough headset, the Lynx-R1 first captures the real-world on video before it combines it with virtual objects using the computational power of the Snapdragon XR2 processor.
Compared with AR headsets with transparent displays, the Lynx-R1 is able to offer a much wider field of view (90° circular) and the ability to render fully opaque virtual objects. According to Lynx, the battery inside the headset can last for up to 3 hours of active use. Wireless connectivity is provided by Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, but there’s also a USB Type-C port that can be used to add a 5G modem or an additional sensor.
Aimed at professional users and businesses providing remote assistance, guided work instructions, immersive training, design & 3D visualization, the headset features removable foam pads that can be washed or swapped for new ones.
Developers can take advantage of the Lynx SDK, which is based on Unity 3D and provides direct access to most sensors. The SDK is compatible with third-party solutions like the Mixed Reality Toolkit (MRTK), a cross-platform toolkit for building Mixed Reality experiences for VR and AR developed by Microsoft.
The Lynx-R1 is currently available for pre-order with a $150 deposit. Those who pre-order the headset now are guaranteed to receive products from the first batch. All pre-orders are 100% refundable, and Lynx advertises a no-questions-asked policy.