Tech

Facebook ships Oculus Touch controllers with labels like 'Big Brother is Watching'

Facebook ships Oculus Touch controllers with labels like 'Big Brother is Watching'

Oculus cofounder Nate Mitchell, whose company is of course owned by Facebook, acknowledged on Twitter Friday that weird secret messages were "accidentally" hidden in "tens of thousands" of the virtual reality controllers. A few developer kits shipped with "Big Brother is Watching" and "Hi iFixit! We See You!' but those were limited to non-consumer units", he said. iFixit is a tech fix company known for publicly deconstructing new gadgets and posting photos of their innards online.

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. However, the integrity or functionality of hardware was not compromised.

The mistake messages won't be visible in plain sight, the company confirmed. "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')".

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Although none of the affected models have been released, Facebook informed Business Insider that the devices will still make their way to consumers.

The messages are printed on the "flex", Peace said, "an internal flexible component of the Touch controllers". "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". According to Mitchell, the specific products at issue are Touch controllers for the Quest and Rift S that haven't yet shipped, compared to the current Touch controllers that have already begun shipping with the Rift. Since the messages are inside on the hardware, you won't see them when using the controllers.

As for what's next for the Oculus Touch controllers, they will be a part of the fully standalone Oculus Quest this Spring, which will launch with the first episode of Vader Immortal, a Star Wars VR series that we recently got our hands on. Business Insider previously reported that the company restructured its AR-glasses division late a year ago as it inches closer to launching a commercial product.