Facebook is going to unlock the bootloader of its Oculus Go headset. The Consulting CTO at Oculus VR, John Carmack gave out the information on Twitter (via). “We are going to make available an unlocked OS build for the Oculus Go headset that can be side loaded to get full root access,” he said.
The ability to gain root access will allow practically anyone to improve or change the Oculus Go headset. Despite showing promise initially, Facebook had to stop production of the headset in favor of the Oculus Quest in 2019. The second-gen Quest made its debut last year at Facebook Connect 7.
Future Oculus VR headsets may also receive a similar treatment
Speaking about the new developments, Carmack said, “This opens up the ability to repurpose the hardware for more things today, and means that a randomly discovered shrink wrapped headset twenty years from now will be able to update to the final software version, long after over-the-air update servers have been shut down.”
Many users asked Carmack if this would also cover other Oculus headsets. In response, he said that although this new move only covers the Oculus Go, he “hopes it sets a precedent” for other VR headsets.
The new unlocked operating system could be available through the Oculus website, as per Carmack. However, he said that the company hasn’t finalized the official release plan as of yet.
On the potential side-effects of such a move, Carmack said, “I still heard a lot of arguments about what bad things could happen if users had full control of their obsolete devices, but I clearly favor user empowerment.”
Carmack left his full-time position as the CTO at Oculus in 2019 to become an independent AI researcher.
Facebook announced the Oculus Quest 2 last year with some notable upgrades under the hood. This includes Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 platform that debuted just prior to the headset’s release. This offers a significant improvement over the Snapdragon 835 chipset used in the 1st gen Oculus Quest.
Pricing for the Oculus Quest 2 starts at $299 for the 64GB variant. Meanwhile, the 256GB model only costs $100 more, making it the preferable option for many. Since apps and content are stored natively, storage is quite an integral part of modern-day VR headsets.