April 19, 2019

New Oculus VR controllers accidentally include weird hidden messages

14 April 2019, 10:28 | Cameron Gross

Facebook mocks privacy concerns with messages hidden in Oculus controllers

Facebook accidentally shipped 'tens of thousands' of VR controllers with hidden messages like 'Big Brother is Watching' and 'The Masons Were Here'

Nate Mitchell, cofounder of Oculus and head of the VR project at Facebook announced today that there were some accidental "easter eggs" placed in Oculus controllers that are set to ship out with upcoming Rift S and Quest systems.

They haven't been shipped yet, but watch out for hidden messages like "The Masons Were Here" on the Oculus Touch controllers bundled with the Rift S or Quest headsets. "We See You", and another Cable read "This Space for Rent".

Unfortunately, some "easter egg" labels meant for prototypes accidentally made it onto the internal hardware for tens of thousands of Touch controllers.

"While I appreciate Easter eggs, these were inappropriate and should have been removed", tweeted Mitchell. However, the integrity or functionality of hardware was not compromised. "Thus, you'd have to take apart the controller to see either of the messages that will be on consumer controllers ('This Space for Rent" and "The Masons were Here')".

For a company whose name has become synonymous with Big Brother, letting these messages slip through their quality control process probably doesn't help its image-but I'm sure most of us can't help but smile at the irony.

Other unusual messages include "Hi iFixit!"

Facebook has accidentally printed several freakish phrases onto its touch controllers that are a part of the company's Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S VR headsets.

The messages can be found on the "flex", an internal component of the controllers.

However, it seems Oculus noticed the easter eggs had been incorporated into the consumer hardware before it could remove them.

"To be clear, no devices have been sold with these messages yet, since Quest and Rift S have not yet shipped", Johanna Peace, an Oculus representative, said. Since the messages are inside on the hardware, you won't see them when using the controllers.

It's likely that the "Big Brother" message was most alarming for Facebook, as the social media company has been under heavy scrutiny lately for its practices of collecting personal data, not to mention its many privacy failures.

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