Lynx R-1 gets eye tracking module

Lynx R-1 gets eye tracking module

Lynx announced an eye-tracking extension for its Mixed Reality headset. The livestream also revealed plans for its successor.

The Lynx R1 mixed reality headset is getting an eye-tracking extension. In a video stream on January 26, 2023, the startup's founder and CEO Stan Larroque announced that an unnamed partner will be producing an add-on.

Modular eye tracking for mixed reality

Larroque stated that the add-on should be released before the end of 2023. Lynx is planning a side-mounted frame for the case. Users can attach sensors to this frame, including the planned eye-tracking module. The company will make a corresponding model for 3D printing available on its website.

After the eye-tracking module is attached to the frame, it is connected to the headset via the upper USB-C port. The rings with sensors for detecting eye movements are placed around the lenses.

The versatile frame allows researchers and hobbyists to experiment with different sensors. For example, future modules for things like EMG (electromyography) technology, which measures electrical muscle activity, could be attached to the frame.

Larroque confirmed that the Lynx R-1's eye tracking will not come from market leader Tobii, as it would likely have been too expensive. He also said that Lynx's goal with the expansions is to remain as affordable as possible. Nevertheless, it is a "very good eye-tracking company". Lynx plans to announce the name, appearance, and price of the module in February.

The next version of the mixed reality headset will likely have eye-tracking integrated, Larroque said.


Kickstarter devices to ship before May

After several postponements, Lynx announced on Jan. 3 that the first batches of the Lynx R1 have arrived and are shipping directly. The first units should go to Kickstarter backers and experienced developers.

"I want all backers to have their headset before May," Larroque explained in the Jan. 26 stream. After the campaign ended, the Lynx R-1 also became available in the official store in an $849 "standard edition" and a $1,299 "enterprise edition."

The company is primarily touting the seamless transition between the real world outside the headset and the video image on the headset's display. This is supposed to make AR applications look particularly credible, even though the resolution of the displays is only 1,600 by 1,600 pixels per eye.

How eye tracking will be implemented in software is still unclear. The Meta Quest Pro (review) and the HP Reverb G2 Omnicept Edition, for example, reproduce the natural eye movements of the conversation partner in social apps. Lynx could use eye tracking similarly. Eye tracking is reportedly a central feature of the Playstation VR 2 (info) to render more beautiful backdrops with Dynamic Foveated Rendering.

Sources: Lynx Mixed Reality