Published: Sun, April 14, 2019
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

Facebook hid creepy messages inside its VR controllers

Facebook hid creepy messages inside its VR controllers

"This Space For Rent" and "The Masons Were Here" were printed on the innards of the controllers" final production hardware. "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')".

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. However, these inscriptions somehow made it onto the internal hardware for tens of thousands of consumer Touch controllers.

Facebook said it accidentally hid freakish and "inappropriate" messages inside "tens of thousands" of virtual-reality controllers, including "Big Brother is Watching" and "The Masons Were Here". The latter two messages were only in the prototypes shipped to developers.

Mitchell added: "While I appreciate easter eggs, these were inappropriate and should have been removed". The controllers with the hidden messages are meant to ship with the Rift S and Oculus Quest headsets. He assured that the integrity and functionality of the controllers themselves weren't compromised and that the company has tuned its process to avoid something like this from ever happening again.

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These inscriptions on Touch controllers were meant to be harmless and fun easter eggs for prototype versions of the Oculus Touch controllers.

While there should have been no internal messages of any kind in any of the devices, a Facebook representative told Business Insider that the company would not recall them. An Oculus spokesperson has since confirmed that in his tweets, Mitchell was referring to the controllers for the upcoming Quest and Rift S virtual reality headsets, not the original ones shipped in 2016.

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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