Virtual and augmented reality are two very intriguing markets with lots of potential. Meta, a company focusing on AR, is in the process of suing a former employee. Apparently, this person successfully stole some of the company’s trade secrets. That is never a smart decision and often results in court battles. Interestingly enough, the former employee started a new AR company. It is unclear if he used some of the trade secrets to establish this new company, though.
Stealing Augmented Reality Tech is Just Bad Business
It is not surprising a lot of people are not too happy with their current employer. That is only to be expected, as very few people find happiness in their job. Then again, being disgruntled with an employer and actively stealing proprietary technology are two very different things. For Zhangyi Zhong, those lines quickly blurred during his stint at AR company Meta. Apparently, he stole a lot of Meta’s trade secrets before leaving the company. Later on, he founded his own augmented reality company.
According to the court documents, meta is suing Zhong. That is not surprising, yet it appears he misappropriated technologies and relationships for his own company. Additionally, it appears Zhong used some manufacturing methods to create his own AR prototype. If these findings are indeed true, Zhong has made some very bad decisions, to say the least. He worked for Meta for sixteen months before departing and creating his own company called DreamWorld.
It is worth noting Zhong was allegedly involved in the development of the Meta 2 AR headset. He also had access to manufacturers and proprietary research related to augmented reality. Leveraging these tools effectively allowed him to launch a competing company and product. Interestingly enough, the DreamWorld DreamGlass AR headset costs about one-third of the Meta 2 headset. All of this points to more than just coincidence, to say the least.
It will be interesting to see how this court case will play out over the coming months. Augmented reality is a very competitive market, and it is not unlikely we will see different companies using similar technology to achieve their goal. That does not have to be a bad thing, as long as there is no theft of proprietary technology and information. Rest assured this is not the last court case of this magnitude we will see.
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