French startup Lynx has had a strong 2021 having redesigned its mixed reality (MR) headset earlier in the year followed by a successful Kickstarter that raised just over $800,000 USD. Founder Stan Larroque holds fairly regular live updates on the progress of Lynx-R1, yesterday revealing several new details that included the upcoming integration of SideQuest in 2022.
If you’ve not heard of the platform, SideQuest was originally set up to help Oculus Quest owners sideload early access projects by indie virtual reality (VR) developers, growing a community away from the official Oculus Store which was difficult for developers to get approved on. The news that SideQuest will be available for Lynx-R1 is not only exciting but highly important where content access is concerned. The Lynx headset already supports SteamVR but having access to SideQuest opens up another massive library of titles, plus it gives developers another platform they can sell their games on.
Larroque noted that SideQuest support should be available in April 2022, the same month that the Lynx-R1 should be shipping to Kickstarter backers.
While that was the main news, he also mentioned a couple of other details. Lynx-R1 focuses on hand tracking as its main input method but Larroque has confirmed that the Valve Index controllers will work. You’ll need to have separate SteamVR base stations, of course, for tracking purposes but at least the option is available ensuring compatibility with Steam content.
For developers, Lynx plans on making its software development kit (SDK), which supports OpenXR, publicly available at some point in January 2022. Unity developers – no mention of Unreal Engine – will then be able to use the SDK to test if their app works with the Lynx-R1 and make any adjustments if necessary.
The Lynx-R1 is a fully all-in-one (AIO) MR headset featuring a 2.1″ octagonal LCD panel, 1600 x 1600 per eye resolution at 90Hz with a 90° FOV, all powered by a Qualcomm XR2 chipset, 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage – that’s expandable via an SD card slot. While the Kickstarter had a limited-time Early Bird discount, the standard price for the Lynx-R1 is $599 USD.