French start-up Lynx raises $4 million to industrialize its XR headset

French start-up Lynx raises $4 million to industrialize its XR headset

The Parisian start-up Lynx announces this May 25, 2022 a series A fundraising of $ 4 million. It is led by Somnium Space, a British company that is developing a software platform for the metaverse, with the participation of private investors mostly from the AR / VR environment. Artur Sychov, founder of Somnium Space, returns to the board of directors of Lynx.

Industrialization and recruitment

These funds will be used to secure the production of the first thousands of Lynx mixed reality headsets, of which 1200 had been reserved on Kickstarter, followed by several more thousands under purchase order. Stan Larroque, founder and CEO of Lynx, tells us that the first deliveries will take place in July, and that the distribution will continue until September.

They will also allow the expansion of the start-up’s team, which now has 16 employees and has just opened an office in Taiwan. “We have 200 m2 of premises in Paris where our R &D is carried out and we are actively recruiting in all areas related to our activity, including mechanical, electronic and optical engineers,” comments Stan Larroque at the Digital Factory. The young manager hopes to double his team by the end of the year.

As a reminder, the Lynx-R1 is a mixed reality headset that works by passthrough, that is, it allows you to do augmented reality by filming the environment and transcribing it on screens, rather than displaying virtual elements on a semi-transparent glass. This method is now preferred by almost all market participants, including Microsoft.

Mixed reality, a use with high potential but still little addressed

The Lynx-R1 offers a resolution of 1600 x 1600 pixels per eye at a refresh rate of 90 Hz. Its diagonal field of view is 90°. Two speakers are integrated and a 3.5 mm jack port allows you to connect headphones to it. Four microphones ensure sound capture. The computing power is provided by a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chip coupled with 6 GB of RAM. It has 128 GB of internal storage, expandable by SD card (up to 1 TB). Its main competitor will be Meta’s Cambria project.

On the software side, the Lynx-R1 runs on Android 12 and is based on Open XR. “We are going to open up as many things as possible to allow developers and companies to fully take control of the device,” comments Stan Larroque. Lynx is also developing its own application store, which will be ready by the start of the new school year to simplify the distribution and updating of third-party applications. For future buyers, the headset will be sold from 800 euros, either directly on the Lynx website or through specialized dealers like Matts Digital.

A solid roadmap

In parallel with this launch on the market, the young company launched the R &D of its next model. “In the face of the American and Chinese giants, we are betting on openness, agility and, above all, on focusing on the essentials,” says Stan Larroque. We don’t have four projects in parallel, we know where we are going.”

The only regret for the entrepreneur: the lack of interest and involvement of venture capitalists, especially on the French market. Hardware projects are still too often perceived as simple “gadgets”, and this despite the fact that they are the cornerstone of modern society (computers, smartphones)… The fact that Apple, Meta, Google and Microsoft each invest billions of dollars in it every year (or even every month) is no coincidence.

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