Facebook’s Oculus Rift Is A Surveillance Device To Spy On You!
Facebook, never likes to miss a chance to rig an election, engage in mass mood manipulation and harvest your private thoughts. Now Facebook reaches into your gaming and porn worlds to suck you dry!
Your Oculus Rift is sending a lot of informaApril 1st, 2016tion back to Facebook
By Jason Hahn —
After installing the Oculus Home software on the device, a process with full system permissions called OVRServer_x64.exe detects when the device is turned on and sends data to Facebook’s servers. The process sent up to 7MB/s on one Reddit user’s headset, even after shutting down Oculus Home.
Facebook also states “third parties may also collect information about you through the Services,” notes UploadVR.
The collected information is supposed to help create accounts, enable user-to-user communication, and help improve user experience. It’s also meant to help Facebook “market to you” with promotional messages and content “on and off our Services,” according to the language.
Facebook’s stated intentions are plain and unsurprising for the time being. If anything, all of this serves as a fair warning to expect the nascent world of VR to be inundated with ads sooner than later – just like the real world.
by Will Mason •
Privacy is an issue that has been central to our cultural discussion for a few years now. As we shift into a constantly connected state there are more and more people who are monitoring our every activity online, feeding that data back to eager marketers who use it to better target you with ads. Facebook generates over $5.6 billion a year in ad revenue by doing just that, so it should come as little surprise that Facebook would be exploring ways to take that practice into the next generation of social media – virtual reality.
It turns out that when you install the software to run Facebook’s Oculus Rift it creates a process with full system permissions called “OVRServer_x64.exe.” This process is always on, and regularly sends updates back to Facebook’s servers.
The process’ main purpose is to help detect when the Rift is turned on and on your face so that it can launch Oculus Home, but the further reaching implications of it are potentially much more salacious.
Full text from the section:
Information Automatically Collected About You When You Use Our Services. We also collect information automatically when you use our Services. Depending on how you access and use our Services, we may collect information such as:
Information about your interactions with our Services, like information about the games, content, apps or other experiences you interact with, and information collected in or through cookies, local storage, pixels, and similar technologies (additional information about these technologies is available at https://www.oculus.com/en-us/cookies-pixels-and-other-technologies/);
Information about how you access our Services, including information about the type of device you’re using (such as a headset, PC, or mobile device), your browser or operating system, your Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, and certain device identifiers that may be unique to your device;
Information about the games, content, or other apps installed on your device or provided through our Services, including from third parties;
Location information, which can be derived from information such as your device’s IP address. If you’re using a mobile device, we may collect information about the device’s precise location, which is derived from sources such as the device’s GPS signal and information about nearby WiFi networks and cell towers; and
Information about your physical movements and dimensions when you use a virtual reality headset.
And it isn’t just Facebook who is able to collect your data, under the policy “third parties may also collect information about you through the Services” this includes entities on the “related companies” list.
So how are Oculus and Facebook planning to use this information? A number of the uses that are outlined in the policy seem fairly mundane, such as helping you create an account or to enable user to user communication, and help improve the user experience. But one line in particular stands out:
To market to you. We use the information we collect to send you promotional messages and content and otherwise market to you on and off our Services. We also use this information to measure how users respond to our marketing efforts.
Virtual reality offers an unparalleled level of access to data for advertisers. Before metrics were measured in how long someone watched a video or how many times a link was clicked, but with VR you can get far more granular. An ad executive at Coke, for instance, could tell just how long you stared at the Coke bottle cleverly placed inside your favorite game as an in-game ad and use that data to better place it in the game for you next time.
Back in 2013, Microsoft weathered a storm around a similar policy with the Xbox One. The “always-on” controversy was the result of Microsoft requiring the Xbox One to always be connected to the internet to allow for a number of services to work. The policy was poorly communicated to customers by Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer’s own admission, and ultimately hurt the device’s sales. The main concern from the public was the the system would be constantly monitoring consumer’s behaviors in their homes, breaching their privacy.
When Oculus was first acquired by Facebook, there was an outcry from a number of enthusiasts who were worried that it would lead to a virtual reality nanny state. This recent development seems to add some credibility to those concerns.
We have reached out to Oculus, but the company has declined to offer an official comment at this time.
[H/T to reddit user Woofington for spotting this]
OCULUS VR SICKENS MANY, BORES OTHERS
Why Virtual Reality Still Doesn’t Work, even after Facebook plowed billions into it.
Beware the perils of ‘Oculus face’: VR headset leaves embarrassing red marks and can cause wearers to feel ‘seasick’
Journslists testing the Oculus Rift have reported red marks on their faces
Temporary marks have been dubbed ‘Oculus face’ and ‘Rift rash’
$599 (£417) gadget started shipping to buyers and requires high-end PC
Some users have also reported feeling nauseous and woozy
The first gamers to get their hands on the full Oculus Rift have noticed embarrassing side-effects to wearing Facebook’s virtual reality headset.
While the $599 (£417) gadget may immerse them in realistic fantasy scenes, it has left some users with red-faced – literally.
The awkward marks have been dubbed ‘Oculus face’ or ‘Rift rash’ and are part of the perils of the innovative technology.
Oculus face pic.twitter.com/yQK52d0cwN
— Steve Kovach (@stevekovach) March 28, 2016
The first gamers to get their hands on the full Oculus Rift headset have noticed embarrassing side-effects to wearing Facebook’s virtual reality headset. Here, journalist Steve Kovash shows off his ‘Oculus face’
Journalists Ben Popper of The Verge and Steve Kovash and Ben Gilbert, from Tech Insider shared photos of themselves with Oculus face on Twitter, with Mr Popper writing: ‘The new walk of shame: Oculus face after a VR bender’.
The first batch of gamers are receiving the headsets, with more reports of ‘Oculus face’ expected, because the headset has just been shipped to buyers.
The marks are caused by the pressure of the headset’s straps and spongy rim on the face, leaving the wearer with temporary red marks.
They seem to oppose Oculus’ description on its website that says: ‘Customisable, comfortable, adaptable, and beautiful, Rift is technology and design as remarkable as the experiences it enables.’
The new walk of shame: Oculus face after a VR bender pic.twitter.com/N4OyOGGh6X
— Ben Popper (@benpopper) March 28, 2016
The first batch of gamers have received the headsets, with more reports of ‘Oculus face’ expected, because the headset has just been shipped to buyers. Here, Ben Popper models ‘Rift rash’ in a tweet
THE RISE OF OCULUS RIFT
Oculus said it’s sending the Rift to its first Kickstarter backers first, followed by those who ordered one in January for $600 (£420) or at least $1,500 (£1,050) with a high-end personal computer included.
Oculus, which began crowd-funding through Kickstarter in August 2012, was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion in 2014 and has shipped two developer versions so far.
The black headgear comes with a remote, an audio system, a sensor and an Xbox One wireless controller.
Oculus said there were more than 30 games available on the Oculus Store and it would soon add feature-length movies.
There’s a backlog of orders and people who order now shouldn’t expect delivery until July.
It’s not clear, though, how many units Oculus made for the first round, and whether there will ultimately be much demand beyond gamers and hard-core technologists.
But it’s not known whether other people will experience the cosmetic problem, or whether other headsets such as HTC’s Vive or Sony’s Playstation VR will also leave users with temporary marks.
The bigger concern, instead, is the fact they are also causing some people to feel sick.
Speaking at this week’s Games Developers Conference in San Francisco, Evan Suma, an assistant professor who studies VR at the University of Southern California said: ‘The challenge is that people’s sensitivity to motion and simulator sickness varies wildly.’
This means it’s tricky for game makers to create titles that are thrilling and immersive, not just nauseous.
The low-latency headsets from Oculus, HTC and Sony are intended to right the nausea-inducing wrongs of their VR predecessors from 20 years ago, but many users still report feeling woozy after using souped-up systems, such as the Oculus Rift.
There’s still concern the immersive technology may force players to lose more than a battle with an alien. They could also lose their lunch.
Hilmar Petursson, CEO of CCP Games, which is developing several VR games, including the sci-fi dogfighting simulator ‘EVE: Valkyrie, said: ‘It’s been a huge focus of development. We want super comfort all the way.’
— Ben Popper (@benpopper) March 28, 2016
It’s not known whether other people will experience the cosmetic problem, or whether other headsets such as HTC’s Vive or Sony’s Playstation VR will also leave users with temporary marks (example shown above)
Petursson said the developers of Valkyrie opted to surround seated players with a virtual cockpit to ground and shelter them from the effects of appearing to whiz through space past asteroids, missiles and ships.
Other designers are attempting to tackle the problem by limiting movement in virtual worlds and not inundating players with head-spinning stimuli.
‘If you have something for your brain to fixate on as the thing that matches similar inputs you’re given when sitting in the real world, you’re going to be feeling a lot better,’ said Palmer Luckey, co-founder of Oculus, which ignited the latest VR revolution in 2012.
The low-latency headsets from Oculus, HTC and Sony are intended to right the nausea-inducing wrongs of their VR predecessors from 20 years ago, but many users still report feeling woozy after using souped-up systems, such as the Oculus Rift (pictured)
PLAYSTATION VR TO UNDERCAUT OCULUS RIFT
Sony’s version of virtual reality will cost a few hundred dollars less than competitors when its headset is released in October.
The company announced a $399 (£349/AUD $549.95) price tag and the October release date for PlayStation VR during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
The head-mounted display works in tandem with the PlayStation 4 console.
The headset surrounds a wearer’s vision and immerses them in 360-degree virtual worlds.
The Rift will be available March 28 for $599, while the Vive will be released April 5 for $799.
They both require high-end PCs in order to work.
Sony said it expects over 50 games will be available for PlayStation VR at launch.
Oculus and Sony both posted health and safety warnings outside their booths on the GDC show floor, cautioning attendees trying the Rift and PlayStation VR that they may feel motion sickness, nausea, disorientation and blurred vision.
Those effects were felt by many attendees.
‘After a morning’s worth of different Rift games, I felt disorientated, a touch nauseous and distinctly headachey,’ wrote Keza MacDonald on the gaming site Kotaku.
‘After five hours, I felt like I needed a lie-down in a dark room.’
Kimberly Voll, senior technical designer at Radial Games, noted during her GDC speech about the effects of VR on the brain that more academic research about VR should be conducted.
‘We really need to look hard at the effects of long-term exposure to VR, the psychological effects and what we can say about the power of our VR experiences,’ she said.
With hype for VR at an all-time high and pre-orders for the Rift and HTC Vive sold out, it’s no longer a question of if consumers will want to experience VR, but how they will cope with it.
For example, will two hours of solid game playing be too nauseous to handle?
‘After a morning’s worth of different Rift games, I felt disorientated, a touch nauseous and distinctly headachey,’ wrote Keza MacDonald on the gaming site Kotaku. The consumer version of the headset is shown
Mr Luckey said: ‘With the current technology, it’s iffy, but it’s all technologically solvable.
‘It’s not like we’re saying, ‘Oh no. We can’t get any better. This is a dead end.’ We have tons of ways to make this higher resolution, lighter weight and more comfortable.
‘Eventually, the goal is to make something that’s not much heavier than a pair of sunglasses.’
For many who’ve tried VR, it’s not an issue at all. Hidden Path Entertainment founder Jeff Pobst said he recently spent 15 hours wearing the Rift headset while playing the VR version of his strategy game, Defense Grid 2.
‘I was happy. I even did it with glasses on and didn’t take the headset off to put in my contacts,’ he said.
‘It all depends on the person and the experience. When there’s not a lot of movement and the controls aren’t tiring, I think you can be in VR indefinitely.’
THE VIRTUAL REALITY WARS
Needed to run
Facebook’s Oculus Rift
$599 (£499/AUD $1100)
High end PC costing around $1,000
$799 (£689/AUD $1200+)
High end PC costing around $1,000
Sony Playstation VR
$399 (£349/AUD $549.95)
PlayStation 4 console
Oculus and Sony both posted health and safety warnings outside their booths on the GDC show floor, cautioning attendees trying the Rift and PlayStation VR that they may feel motion sickness, nausea, disorientation and blurred vision. Sony’s headset is shown above
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3517067/Beware-perils-Oculus-face-VR-headset-leaves-embarrassing-red-marks-cause-wearers-feel-seasick.html#ixzz44WNeHZ8b
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By Cinthia Reston- University of Washington
Some guy at Oculus VR discovered that a guy named Eric Howlett had invented some plastic lenses called LEEP lenses long before the Oculus guy was born. So the Oculus guy figures: “Oh, Well, old Howlett is dead, I might as well just use his lenses”. Oculus invented nothing. They copied old things and convinced the dumb technology venture capitalists that it was something new.
The amazing thing about the lenses is that they cover your whole eyeball and make it look more like a wrap around screen. The LEEP optics were custom created for NASA and CIA mission simulators.
The 2016 versions of VR are still using Howlett’s lenses from decades ago; except they don’t need to pay him because he is dead.
The reality of Virtual Reality is that no normal computer can power it. You need to spend at least $5000.00 to $10,000.00 in computer hardware to even get a dim hope of having enough power to have a convincing experience.
The other reality of Virtual Reality is that it can cause brain damage, optic damage and nausea.
VR is really fun for the first 5 minutes at a CES demo, after that, you begin to wonder what the point is because, when you take off the cumbersome sweaty goggles, you can see real reality, in higher resolution, with actual 3D sound, FOR FREE.
Petting virtual cats and swimming with virtual whales is fun for four of those 5 minutes, after that: Boring!
The decades old Howlett LEEP lenses are cool but nothing has really caught up to the potential.
Mark Zuckerberg got sold on scanning peoples brainwaves, eye movements and intentions while narcotized and hypnotized in a VR headset experience. As much as Facebook loves raping your dating history on a Facebook page, they can go wild on your breathing rate, gaze patterns, voice inflection commands and other body data when you look at 3D videos of Hillary, Huma, Donald or Bernie.
You are so susceptible to suggestions, in your little VR cocoon, that you can be manipulated into doing all kinds of things… or voting for all kinds of people.
The super-rich yuppie tech elite brogrammers of Silicon Valley have hacked together their own state-of-the-art systems with their six figure salaries and their carte blanche credit cards at Fry’s Electronics. Now they have discovered the reality. VR does not work as anything more than a few minutes of time-killing distraction. The heat, sweat, nausea, cord restrictions, goggle weight, slow image response, outside distractions, and other downsides are not worth the expense. You know what “hat-head” is, right? That mashed-down hair effect?
With VR goggle’s you get both hat head and googly goggle eyes. After a long bout with VR you have weird mashed down hair, all the way around, just above your ears; plus an intense figure 8-shaped red lined crease all the way around your eyes like a space raccoon. That is where the VR goggles dig into your face. If you are at work and you try a little VR at lunch-time, everybody in the office knows what you did because of the strange markings on your face and your blood-shot eyes.
Life also virtually kills reality. Gamers still need to pee and eat. As soon as nature calls them to fill their stomachs with Spaghettios or empty their bladders, the experience dies as you rip the goggles off. Returning to the goggles, from the real world, then seems like a dark and gloomy option.
Oculus VR is a ViewMaster for rich yuppies that will consume a few minutes of their day until soon tire of it and leave it in the corner next to their IPOD, their DVD player and their massage chair.