Earlier today, Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell made a statement on Twitter regarding several “easter eggs” [sic] intended for prototypes that had accidentally made their way into a production batch of Oculus Touch motion controllers. In his three-tweet thread, Mitchell details the nature of the Easter eggs, and the intent behind them.
“Unfortunately, some ‘easter egg’ labels meant for prototypes accidentally made it onto the internal hardware for tens of thousands of Touch controllers,” Mitchell said. The “Big Brother is watching” and “Hi iFixit! 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.
This issue appears to be limited to the revised version of the Touch motion controllers, which are set to be released alongside the standalone Oculus Quest VR headset. The biggest difference between the two versions is the location of the tracking rings attached to the controllers. The original controllers had the rings located below the buttons to enable communication between the controllers and the Constellation cameras, whereas the newer controllers have upward-facing rings to facilitate detection by the Quest headset’s built-in cameras. These were alongside jokes about the Masons like most motion controllers. Probably.
Although Mitchell is light on specifics, he does mention that the problems which allowed the labels to make it to production units have been resolved. “The integrity and functionality of the hardware were not compromised, and we’ve fixed our process so this won’t happen again,” Mitchell said.
To some, jokes like “Big Brother is watching” are in poor taste considering the public relations woes of Oculus parent company, Facebook. Last year, it was revealed that millions of Facebook accounts were mined for research data by British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. Between that leak, the rise of “fake news” on the site, and a general Bad Vibe given off by modern tech companies, Facebook and its subsidiaries have come under greater scrutiny – a situation unlikely to be helped by these Easter eggs.