Tuesday, 18 June, 2019

Facebook Snafu Adds Unsettling Messages to Oculus Controllers

Facebook accidentally shipped 'tens of thousands' of VR controllers with hidden messages like 'Big Brother is Watching' and 'The Masons Were Here' Facebook mocks privacy concerns with messages hidden in Oculus controllers
Emmett Howard | 14 April, 2019, 22:24

These "easter eggs" were only meant to be on prototypes for the company's upcoming Quest and Rift S controllers, yet somehow found their way into consumer devices. Some of the controllers have a message that reads "Big Brother is Watching", but Mitchell says that only dev kits have that joke inside. The company's CEO Nate Mitchell acknowledged the mistake on Twitter. The messages, which Facebook definitely did not intend the public to see, include breezy references to it being an all-knowing surveillance entity watching your every move.

Oculus' co-founder Nate Mitchell has said on Twitter that tens of thousands of Oculus Touch controllers shipped with freakish Easter Egg messages hidden inside on internal hardware that are privacy related. The latter two messages were only in the prototypes shipped to developers.

"While I appreciate easter eggs", Mitchell tweeted, referring to inside jokes in software and media, "these were inappropriate and should have been removed".

While there should have been no internal messages of any kind in any of the devices, a Facebook representative told Business Insider that the company would not recall them. Supposedly, these won't appear in any consumer devices.

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A Facebook spokesperson told the Verge that the easter eggs were hidden on the Touch controllers for the yet-to-be-released Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest, not the original Oculus Touch controllers that shipped in 2016.

'That said, as mentioned in Nate's tweet, the messages will be inside tens of thousands of controller pairs that will ship to consumers when Quest and Rift S ship. The controllers haven't yet made it to customers, as they are for the new Oculus Quest and Rift S VR headsets.

The messages are printed on the "flex", Peace said, "an internal flexible component of the Touch controllers". Since the messages are inside on the hardware, you won't see them when using the controllers. Business Insider previously reported that the company restructured its AR-glasses division late past year as it inches closer to launching a commercial product.

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