A French mixed reality? We present to you Lynx, the startup ahead of Facebook and Apple

We went to meet Lynx, a startup founded in 2019 with the aim of creating a mixed reality headset independent of American or Chinese brands. A few weeks before its first deliveries, Lynx opened the doors of its Paris offices to us.

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February 2022, we were lucky enough to bump into Stan Larroque, the creator of a startup called Lynx. During a round table organized by Qualcomm on reality headsets, the young Frenchman came to present to us his headset capable of combining the virtual and the real, thanks to cameras responsible for replicating your vision and following your hands, to add things in the real world. What surprised us is that no media is talking about Lynx, despite its creator’s attempts to invite the press. Lynx is a victim of the small startup syndrome. Nobody is interested in it, everyone prefers to talk about giants like Meta and Apple, Numerama included.

Still, the demo we saw in Barcelona was returned. More compact than a headset like the Oculus Quest 2 and, above all, capable of replicating reality in color, the Lynx-R1 seems rather ahead of the competition (at least from a hardware point of view, it is obvious that the ecosystems of Meta and Apple will be more complete). We then made a promise to Stan Larroque: we will come and see his company in Paris on our return. Several months later, here is our report made in the offices of Lynx, where everything is designed in-house, including the optical part.

A French box that interests Americans

When we came on site, we were even more captivated by the company. Admittedly, everything is not yet perfect (the prototype that we tried with some difficulties at start-up), but the calibration is very successful. We really believe to see through the helmet, even if there are screens in front of our eyes. There are still efforts to be made in terms of quality (Meta himself admits that we are far from mastering this technology), but the potential of the Lynx-R1 is stunning.

Of course, the company doesn’t claim to be able to compete with the tech giants on sales volume. If it already manages to impose itself on specific sectors, such as education in Europe, then it will have won everything. And, the Americans and Chinese will not control everything. It is also for this reason that Qualcomm supports it: the company does not want to let monopolies settle. We also appreciate her wise discourse on metaverses, she does not like to pretend that the future of the planet will be in a virtual bubble.

Several prototypes of the Lynx R-1, including a transparent one. // Source: Numerama

Paradoxically, if Lynx struggles to be talked about in France, we are interested in the company abroad. Without going into details, the startup told us that it was aware of the interest of GAFAM and other large groups for its know-how. Lynx nevertheless wants to continue to move forward independently and, for the moment, continue to raise a lot of money (4 million euros in May, just before we came to its offices).

Want to know more about Lynx? We let you watch our report. For our part, we will continue to follow the French company in its adventures, while waiting to see the evolution of the industry of alternative realities.

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