Facebook purchased Oculus in 2014 for about $3 billion. Image via Pixabay
Facebook-owned virtual reality company Oculus says thousands of its Touch VR controllers have been shipped with inappropriate cryptic hidden messages, which were accidentally included in the handheld devices.
The messages were only intended for prototypes but got incorporated in production units as well.
Facebook purchased Oculus in 2014 for about $3 billion, and quickly started integrating its social platform into Oculus. While founding CEO Palmer Luckey left the company in 2017, Nate Mitchell, the co-founder of Oculus, is still running the VR segment for Facebook.
“The Masons Were Here” and “Big Brother is Watching” were inscribed in the devices
In a tweet on Friday, Mitchell revealed that some “Easter egg” messages were accidentally left inside several thousand VR touch controllers.
“While I appreciate Easter eggs, these were inappropriate and should have been removed. The integrity and functionality of the hardware were not compromised, and we’ve fixed our process so this won’t happen again,” he added.
He further revealed that while some messages were included only in developer kits, such as “This Space For Rent” and “Hi iFixit! We See You!,” many others, such as “The Masons Were Here” and “Big Brother is Watching” were inscribed in the devices in significant numbers.
Unfortunately, some “easter egg” labels meant for prototypes accidentally made it onto the internal hardware for tens of thousands of Touch controllers. [1/3]
— Nate Mitchell (@natemitchell) April 12, 2019
The messages are present on an internal component of Oculus Rift S and Quest controllers, and users would need to take apart the controller to see the message on the consumer controller. Otherwise, they won’t even know if they received a VR controller with the hidden text.
The Facebook representative, Johanna Peace, told the Business Insider that the affected units won’t be recalled by the company, although Quest and Rift S are yet to be shipped to consumers.
We think it’s important to be transparent with our community and take responsibility when there’s an error
According to the company, there is no way to know which units have the inappropriate messages. So, rather than discarding them all the company decided to ship them and admit the mistake.
“We think it’s important to be transparent with our community and take responsibility when there’s an error,” Peace added.
Facebook is set to roll out its two new VR products – the PC-tethered Oculus Rift S and standalone Oculus VR system – in the coming months.
The new VR headset is built on the Rift platform and combines the power of the PC with built-in Oculus Insight tracking technology.
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