The Microsoft HoloLens uses special optics and lasers to overlay an image on a small part of their glasses, delivering a picture which, while convincing, suffers from poor brightness and a small field of view.
The LYNX-R1 headset takes a different approach, replacing the see-through glasses with screens and cameras, with several advantages.
The first is dramatically lower cost, with the LYNX-R1 costing only $1500, vs $3500 for the Microsoft HoloLens 2.
In addition, it has a 90-degree field of view, the virtual objects feature full opacity and the whole system can be easily used in bright light.
The system is powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon XR-2 chipset with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage and is full untethered.
Its screens are 1600×1600 LCD panels running at 90Hz- and the system offers 2 hrs of autonomy.
The sensor suite includes 6 cameras, two black & white cameras that provide positional tracking, two colour cameras are used for the passthrough and computer vision tasks such as occlusion mapping and hand tracking, including gesture recognition and two internal eye-tracking cameras.
It also includes two speakers and two microphones, enabling positional audio and voice communications.
Pass-through VR, while technically less sophisticated, may win out over see-through VR like in the HolOlens due to the earlier system being able to offer both AR and VR, and being able to advance at the pace of VR technology in general, rather than the slow improvements we have seen in AR. It is believed that Apple will be using the same system for their AR headset.
The headset, which is aimed at professionals, is set to ship this summer and is available for pre-order now.