[Youtube Live] Lynx Update - December 05th 2022
Early December 2022 Youtube Live Recap
We are making good progress on all the fronts, Stan shared the latest updates in the latest Youtube Live last week. You can find the recap below :
First shipment of headsets leaving the factory on December 9th, therefore some units are already assembled. Those headsets will be way more polished than the ones we’ve shown in events and tradeshows these past years but won’t have the same color as the final version. The headsets will be delivered with an immersive VR interface.
Kickstarter backers will be shipped first, as well as experienced developers to showcase cool experiences on the Lynx-R1.
The goal is to deliver headsets that support over the air updates and multiple app stores and pre-loaded with content and game samples. Now that the hardware is finished, the focus is on the software platform.
Unreal Engine support is coming soon (through OpenXR).
We have decided to make our own controllers, and we’ve hired a few people just for that. We’ve partnered with Qualcomm to speed up the process and should be able to show some working prototypes at the end of Q1. We aim to ship the first units before the end of June.
The very first headsets will be reserved for internal use and will be shown at CES (5/01-9/01), where we were awarded the Innovation Award in the AR/VR category.
What's the open hardware ecosystem like?
Some companies have asked us how they can use our hardware to make their product compatible. For example, they asked if they can use the Nordic chip, the Bluetooth and camera stacks to make their own controllers for the headset. Because Lynx is a very open ecosystem, we said, of course ! So you are going to see not only controllers coming from Lynx, but also accessories, not only controllers, but also tracking accessories coming out for Lynx, I hope, very early next year. So that's also very exciting.
And the cool thing with this open ecosystem approach is that we have a lot of people wanting to partner with us to make their own hardware work. We're very open about that, and I'm really excited to see the combination of headsets and accessories as it will provide us with great feedback to evaluate what is working and what is not for future products.
How many backers will get their Lynx via FedEx before Christmas who are not developers?
We're going to reach out to our Kickstarter backers and pre-orders clients to ask a few questions regarding the shipping of the early units. Those who wish to receive one will have to agree to some specific terms in the form of a non-disclosure agreement.
The first term is related to the cosmetic aspect of those units as they won’t have the same aspect as the final ones. We don't want them to appear in video reviews or any videos shared on the internet. Maybe we will agree to share what you see through the lens or what is captured through the system, but not the headset itself, just because of the cosmetics. We will replace these units with the final ones as soon as they are available, of course.
The second term is related to the nature of the project you’d like to use the Lynx for. We have to evaluate if you need specific support and if you’re willing to share your progress with us.
We will send the mail once we receive the units so expect it soon (we’ll post a news on the website when that happens).
What's the business plan for an application store?
We're going to build this platform for developers so they can showcase their work and generate some revenue. We’ll take a percentage of the revenue so we can invest more in the SDK and the platform.
All the money we will earn through the content will be transferred to a content fund and will be used to pay engineers that are working on the features for developers. We won't use this fund to finance hardware development or new ventures. We're going to close the loop around the app store revenues to help mature the ecosystem.
Can we be testers then?
Yes, you can be a tester between mid-December and CES. You can come to our office in Paris and try those headsets.
Is this OS based on Android?
Yes, it's based on Android 12 to be precise.
Do we need to use an app on PC to stream to Lynx or does it talk to SteamVR directly?
We have a CloudXR client to stream SteamVR content, it’s currently being upgraded to OpenXR.
Will a transparent edition affect delivery time?
No, we're building transparent and black headsets at the same time. It's using the same mold. We don't have a transparent faceplate with me but it's working really great.
Is the environment mesh available to developers to create mixed reality applications?
There is a point cloud which is extracted from the 6DoF tracking algorithm. It is possible to activate a mesh detection algorithm which is basically reconstructing what the pair of 6DoF cameras are seeing. It's going to consume more power but it is possible to use this mesh in your application.
Is there a timeline for Vulkan support?
We have Vulkan working in Unreal right now. It’s still unclear for Unity but we’re discussing it with Qualcomm.
Does the Unity plugin already support Linux?
We can use our Unity plugin on a computer running on Ubuntu so it’s fully supported.
Is the lens design the same as pancake lenses?
We're not using the pancake lens design. We're using our own prism design which is very different from pancake lenses. Pancake lenses use several polarization filters to reflect the light at 90 degrees on every filter to increase the distance the light has to go through from the display to the eye.
We're doing the same thing but with mirrors instead of polarization filters. Our lens has better transmissivity (so the display backlight can be reduced) and is much cheaper to produce. The downside is the eye box which is a bit smaller. Every optical system has its ups and downs and it’s all about compromising between perceived quality, power consumption, eye box and global size and cost. So the catadioptric lens we’re using is the best compromise we could make as compared to pancake lenses headsets like the Quest Pro, we have better contrast and lower power consumption.
Is the Godot game engine supported?
We’d like to support it but couldn't put resources on it yet. Once Unity and Unreal are fully supported, we will give Godot a try.
Why didn't you deliver in April? What happened?
We didn't deliver earlier because the headset was not fully ready and we didn’t want to ship a half-finished product. At the same time, we lost a ton of time raising money and it was really, really hard. But now that it is done, just so you know, we are preparing a new round for next year and it's a completely different world. Now that we have concrete evidence that what we are doing is working and that people want it, it's a complete game changer.
How is the market perception of Lynx and XR in Europe?
There is much more maturity in North America and Asia related to XR. People there know what XR is and how they can benefit from it. They know it can be used for both entertainment and professional use. In Europe, it's going more slowly as no one is building those headsets at the same scale as Lynx is basically the only company doing it.
So we don't have the same maturity because we are always late to what's coming in North America or China or, you know, Pacific Asia. So the maturity is really different. This is also why it was hard to raise funds there because fewer people have the same maturity than the other markets. Lynx is certainly helping in this way because we are bringing attention to VR and AR in Europe.
Will we be able to easily record gameplay including pass-through environments directly on the headset?
Yes, but it still requires some setup. To be completely honest, what we are doing now is deactivating the distortion of our lens on one of the two eyes. You can choose which one and we use this eye for the recording. So it's not great because you have to close one eye or not look at the image while you're doing this recording session. This is what we've been doing on the videos you see on YouTube.
We are working on a new system that doesn't need any special setup. It’s already working for screenshots but not for videos yet.
Will Lux, the animal, be released soon?
I have to talk to the guys that are working on it.
Will you release any more CAD files?
We released a 3D model of the headset that can be used to create accessories or imported in VR chat like some people already did. We will share as much as we can but you have to keep in mind that we are facing strong competition which limits it.
So it's very hard for us to determine what is going to be useful for our users without giving too much information to the competition.
Will you be at Laval Virtual 2023?
Of course. We booked an insane booth, more than 120 square meters.
Can we use the hand mesh as a collider for hand physics?
Yes, you absolutely can.
What about WebXR?
WebXR is coming through the Wolvic browser. The development will start before the end of the year or early January.
Is the Lynx for the military?
We did not design it for the military at all. We designed it for everyone and that’s why we worked so much on the ergonomics. Anyone who tried the headset (and we made thousands of demos) had a correct image. Maybe not at first, but by setting the interpupillary distance right, it works.
What was the biggest factory error/issue?
I think the biggest issue was the lead time of components and we still have to deal with that today. We also had a problem with robots, as part of the headset is assembled by technicians and another part is built with robots. For some reason, we had to buy another one as they could not source the proper model in Taïwan.So we had to buy a robot in Denmark, ship it to Paris and then ship it to Taiwan causing a big delay. It was to avoid stopping the production for six months.
Will you be able to watch Netflix with Lynx?
Can the Lynx R1 charge fast enough while in use to be used for indefinite periods of time?
Yes. So in the packaging of the headset, you will find a USB-C cable. If you use this USB-C cable with the right charger that is delivering more than at least 10 watts, then it should be able to work just fine.
So the Pimax Crystal has hot swappable batteries. Does Lynx?
If you want to use the Lynx for a very long period of time, you can keep it plugged or plug in to a USB battery. Hot swappable batteries are great on paper but they induce a lot of mechanical complexity and reduce the size of the battery itself. There’s also more electrical complexity as you’d have to add an additional small battery in the headset. All that makes the headset more complex to produce and assemble which increases the final price and we didn't want to achieve the kind of pricing you're seeing with the Quest Pro, for example.
You said Nordic chip with controllers. Is that the same type of connection as with the Index or Vive Pro?
Yes it’s a similar chip but we don’t use the same firmware.
For future products, is Lynx considering a hybrid device like the Pimax Portal?
Will we be able to use a mouse and keyboard in Wolvic?
Will it charge through USB-C?
What areas do you want to improve upon in the R2?
The Lynx-R1 is a solid device but of course there are a lot of things that we can improve. We have a lot of ideas but we can’t disclose them right now.
What apps or games are you demoing on the headsets?
We’ve been working on new demos, they will be shown at CES.
Can the headsets show RGB camera plus stream PCVR at the same time?
We haven't tried that yet.
Will the Lynx come with a cable clip similar to Quest Pro?
No, you will have to 3D print it. We could help with that.
Will there be any discount on Lynx R2 for Lynx R1 backers?
We'll see. Again, we’re doing our best on the pricing.
Will the Lynx be able to handle large games such as Boneworks?
Can the Lynx run SteamVR?
Yes, by streaming it from a PC.
How many games or apps at launch?
It's hard to tell. If you consider launch when we have both the headsets and the controllers, then a lot of games, for sure. A lot of existing content from SteamVR or SideQuest, for example.
How does the XR2 chip compare to the Quest Pro?
It's basically the same chip. So it's the same CPU, GPU, DSP. All the cores are the same, but on the XR2 that we have in Lynx and the Quest 2, the chip has the RAM on top of it. So it's actually two chips on top of one another. The new XR2 chip, I think it's the XR2+, which is in the Quest Pro, has the RAM separated from the CPU/GPU.
You can put a larger amount of RAM, mostly because of that. But you have a larger surface with the same thermal dissipation. With the same chip, you can output more power with the same thermal conditions. So I guess it's behaving 20 to 30% less than the Quest Pro chip. But if we turn the fan to higher speeds, then we can go to those performances as well.
How many app stores will there be on the headset besides the Lynx store and the SideQuest store?
We still need to work with SideQuest on some stuff, but as soon as they have their headsets, we'll work with them on integration and partnership. We believe SideQuest and the Lynx store are the two app stores you're going to see on the headset itself. You will also still be able to use the Steam store for PCVR content.
Will Guy Godin make a Virtual Desktop for Lynx?
I don't know. We'll reach out to him and if he wants to have a try with it, then it will be with pleasure, of course. He has done great work on the XR2 platform.
What do you honestly think about the Quest Pro after being hands-on with it? What do you think of the color pass-through?
I don't want to give an answer, because whatever I say, people will say it's biased and I'm only selling my product and blah blah blah.
So what we're doing is that tomorrow or in two days, we will publish a video of a shot through the lens of the Quest Pro and one through Lynx R1, and you guys will decide. You don't need my opinion there.
Is there any consideration to support SlimVR trackers for full-body tracking via OpenXR?
Well, if it's OpenXR, they can write a layer or an extension, so I guess yes, but it needs integration as usual.