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Home / Tips and Tricks / Magic Leap claims he stole Augmented Reality ideas as an employee, but who is Chi Xu, founder of Nreal? «Next reality

Magic Leap claims he stole Augmented Reality ideas as an employee, but who is Chi Xu, founder of Nreal? «Next reality



When I learned about Nreal for the first time in the spring of 2018, the most interesting part of the company's history was the background of the founder. Chi Xu, the CEO and founder of Nreal, previously worked at Magic Leap as a software engineer.

Earlier this year, I met Xu a second time in Barcelona, ​​Spain, at the Mobile World Congress (our first meeting was last year). I asked him why he wanted to leave Magic Leap. He declined to answer that question.

Now that Magic Leap Xu and his company have referred to his legal arsenal, it looks like at least some of the unanswered questions about Nreal are being answered in court. In the meantime, it's worth taking a look at Xu's way to get a more complete picture of how Nreal came to be.

2003 ̵
1; 2007

Xu attends Zhejiang University and earns a degree in Electrical Computer Engineering.

2007 – 2014

Xu graduated. in Electrical Engineering at University of Minnesota's Twin Cities in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

2008

Xu spends approximately five months as a research associate at Northwestern University.

2009

Xu holds a similar role as a research associate at the University of Michigan.

] 2010 – 2014

Xu is a four-year research associate at the University of Minnesota.

Like Magic Leap, Nreal created a series of comic images to illustrate the company's vision. Pictures about Nreal

2014 – 2015

Xu moves to Silicon Valley (more specifically to Santa Clara, California) and works for about five months as an intern for chip maker Nvidia.

2015 – 2016

Xu spends more than a year working on the then mysterious startup Magic Leap. In his lawsuit, Magic Leap claims he started working there "on or about July 27, 2015". In the new lawsuit, Magic Leap Claims Xu has signed a confidentiality agreement (specifically, a "Proprietary Information and Inventions" agreement) which "establishes a broad prohibition on the unauthorized use or disclosure of the confidential and proprietary information defined during and after the contract Mr. Xu. "

The lawsuit filed on June 17, 2019 states:" While at Magic Leap, Mr. Xu had access to much of Magic Leap's confidential information throughout all phases of his research and development efforts, including such areas as software, hardware, product design, form factors and ergonomics, component sourcing and supply chains, suppliers, components, parts lists, unpublished products, and marketing. "

2017

The year after working at Magic Leap brings Xu Nreal on the market.

Image by Adario Strange / Next Reality

2018

An early version of the Nreal device, glasses on a laptop, will be shown at the AWE conference. It is bulky and only shows the ability to view two-dimensional content (videos, movies, games) in augmented reality.

Photo by Adario Strange / Next Reality

2019 – January

At the CES show in Las Vegas, Nreal introduces the Nreal Light, a new device connected to a hip-mounted computer the user can view 3D objects using a wireless handheld controller.

Like Magic Leap, one of Neal's main demonstration images is a large augmented reality whale (see below), a fact noted in Magic Leap's lawsuit.

2019 – February

Nreal unveils an updated version of Nreal Light, which uses an Android smartphone as a computer module instead of a custom-built hip-hop module. mounted computer. "We talked to Qualcomm and implemented it in the last few months," Xu said as he demonstrated the new system. "This makes the product more affordable and accessible, as everyone has a smartphone."

One of the most important passages in the Magic Leap litigation explicitly deals with Nreal Light and indicates that it is a direct copy of an internal version of Magic Leap designs.

Image via Nreal

In 2016, Mr. Xu was aware that Magic Leap had created several conceptual designs for spatial data processing products (including eyewear and peripherals), a series of internal research and development efforts to build a pipeline The assessment of market potential, including prototypes of products and technologies that are (in whole or in part) indistinguishable from Nreal Light, "states the complaint.

As shown at CES and in publicly available videos, The resulting product is remarkably similar to the confidential designs that Magic Leap developed before and while working at Magic Leap, but was not eventually commercialized or publicly released. "

But the allegations do not end in asserting a theft of ideas. The claim by Magic Leap alleges that Xu actively hunted down the secrets of Magic Leap to steal these ideas for his own company.

"While working at Magic Leap on information and belief Mr. Xu made the decision to leave Magic Leap and move to China to start a business with others that compete with Magic Leap in the field of data processing and his knowledge of confidential information from Magic Leap, including confidential information, would use designs, "it says in the lawsuit.

"During this time, Mr. Xu neglected his work duties at Magic Leap and participated in internal meetings that were not directly required for the work assigned to him." Due to information and beliefs, Mr. Xu was involved in this behavior. including the confidential designs, he was later able to use in favor of his rival company and to the detriment of Magic Leap. "

Magic Leap not only accuses Xu of having stolen his trade secrets in order to obtain a new augmented To build reality headset. According to Magic Leap, he even stole the font of the company. "Mr. Xu's goal to acquire the reputation and image of Magic Leap is manifest in his obvious copy of Magic Leap's proprietary font in the Nreal logo," the lawsuit states.

Magic Leap claims that Nreal even stole the distinctive font for his logo.

In recent months, I have had the opportunity to ask Magic Leap representatives if they have any thoughts on Nreal Light. None of the company's employees would probably burden the startup. However, with Xu's history as a former employee at Magic Leap, it's not surprising that a lawsuit is now appearing to connect with his past and his new start-up.

If successful, Nreal could actually do just that. Market Magic Leap has invested billions of dollars in and almost a decade into mainstream users who may be willing and willing to wear truly immersive augmented reality glasses that are almost like that a normal glasses looks like.

Based on Nreal's backers, Magic Leap's suit against the young company is unlikely to end quickly or simply, as Xu's resources seem to expand into the deepest areas of the Chinese tech elite. Augmented reality immersion with smartphones [19659053] Cover picture about Nreal


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