Oculus included 'creepy' messages in thousands of Touch controllers by mistake

Alfred Osborne
April 14, 2019

"We see you" labels cited by Mitchell appear to have been isolated to dev kits - early versions of hardware shipped to developers interested in working with Oculus Touch - while the "This Space for Rent" and "The Masons Were Here" can supposedly be found inside "tens of thousand" retail Oculus Touch controllers.

Among the "easter eggs" were choice phrases like "Big Brother is Watching, ' 'The Masons Were Here, ' 'This Space for Rent" and 'Hi iFixit! [3/3] - Nate Mitchell (@natemitchell) April 12, 2019 To be clear, most Oculus users who have a device that includes any of these hidden messages will never actually see them.

It comes as Facebook attempts to push VR into the mainstream and gears up to launch its long-awaited Oculus Quest, an all-in-one VR headset, in the coming months.

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

According to the series of tweets posted on Twitter, Nate explained how these creepy easter eggs message labels meant for internal prototype use actually found its way towards tens of thousands of Oculus Touch controllers that were shipped although now haven't sold yet.

Mitchell added: "While I appreciate easter eggs, these were inappropriate and should have been removed".

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Facebook has no plans to recall any of the affected items, as the integrity and functionality of the hardware were not compromised, as Mitchell also mentioned in his tweet.

Facebook said it accidentally included cryptic hidden messages in "tens of thousands" of its Oculus Touch virtual-reality controllers.

However, it seems Oculus noticed the easter eggs had been incorporated into the consumer hardware before it could remove them. The controllers haven't yet made it to customers, as they are for the new Oculus Quest and Rift S VR headsets.

The messages can be found on the "flex", an internal component of the controllers. "We think it's important to be transparent with our community and take responsibility when there's an error".

While it's not a particularly critical issue, having "Big Brother Is Watching" engraved onto a Facebook-owned product is ironic considering the company's current battles on data privacy and surveillance.

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