‘Tens Of Thousands’ Of Oculus Controllers Include Secret Messages

A mishap in the production line accidentally sent protoype messages to the consumers.
Paranoid messages? In my Oculus? It's much more common than you think.
Paranoid messages? In my Oculus? It's much more common than you think. Oculus

The release of Oculus’ newest virtual reality sets almost came and went without a hitch. Almost.

For the earliest buyers of the Oculus Quest or Oculus Rift S, you may want to check if your particular unit has a hidden message in your motion controllers. This piece of news comes directly from an announcement made by Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell in a series of tweets.

As stated by Mitchell, the supposed “easter egg” labels were meant for prototypes and not consumers. However, it still managed to make its way into units’ internal hardware, numbering in the tens of thousands. The messages themselves seem innocent enough, with inane sayings like “This Space For Rent” and “The Masons Were Here”. It did cross into weird, with one message saying “Big Brother Is Watching”, while another poked fun at a prominent hardware repair site with the message, “Hi iFixit! We See You!”

Mitchell continues that while he ‘appreciates easter eggs, these were inappropriate and should have been removed’. In the end though, he tried to assuage the device’s owners by stating that the ‘integrity and functionality of the hardware were not compromised, and we've fixed our process so this won't happen again’.

While technically, all the affected Oculus Touch controllers have not yet been shipped, they will likely not be recalled, eventually making their way to their respective customers. The messages are located on the “flex”, an internal component of the Oculus Touch controllers, meaning it will be even less likely for a regular consumer to find one.

While I don’t think there’s no real security threat to any Oculus user even after this fiasco, it’s still bizarre to see privacy-related messages hidden in these units. It is even more awkward, because not so long-ago Facebook, the owner of Oculus, recently faced issues regarding its data harvesting and privacy leaks for hundreds of thousands of users.

The Oculus Touch controller is the main form of input for the Oculus Quest, which is a higher capable model than its younger sibling, the Oculus Go. The Quest carries a $400 price tag while the Go will be sold for much lower at $150.

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