Nate Mitchell, Oculus co-founder and head of VR product at Facebook, revealed that a number of Touch controllers for Quest and Rift S hold an unintended hidden message inside, something he calls “inappropriate.”
Although Mitchell admits in a tweet that hidden messages made them to what he calls “tens of thousands” of internal developer units, an unspecified number of production controllers are already on their way to retail including the messages “This Space For Rent” and “The Masons Were Here.”
Some units that made it out to developers read: “Big Brother is Watching,” and “Hi iFixit!”
Mitchell explains in a followup tweet that while he appreciates Easter eggs, the messages were “inappropriate and should have been removed. The integrity and functionality of the hardware were not compromised, and we’ve fixed the process so this won’t happen again.”
While we haven’t seen the guts of the new Touch controllers to confirm, the single photo of the message “This Space For Rent” appears to be a small ribbon cable, possibly similar to the one found on the original Touch controllers leading to the main PCB. Alternatively, it could be a rubber gasket, although there’s no telling without an actual peek inside the controllers.
Considering both Rift S and Quest come bundled with the same Touch controller, users buying either product could find a hidden message when cracking them open for a look. If the new Touch controllers are anything like the last though, accessing the internals could take what iFixit says in their original tear down a battle against “a thick layer of adhesive.”
As far as hidden messages go they all seem fairly innocuous, although even in jest, hinting at the possibility that Facebook is actively watching you every move like “Big Brother,” or has anything to do with the Freemasons, a group often cited in conspiracy theories, probably isn’t a good look for the company.
Whatever the case may be, it looks like a product engineer had their fun, and in the process has created a unique collectible for anyone building their future museum of interesting tech from the still very early days of consumer VR.