The poor Oculus Go finally caught a break. After getting sidelined by the superior Oculus Quest, and then canceled altogether, Facebook just might give it a new lease on life. According to Oculus’ Consulting CTO John Carmack, Facebook will unlock the Go’s bootloader.
The Oculus Go is admittedly a low-powered VR headset. It can only track one controller, and can’t run games as complicated as the Quest. It’s better at video viewing than interaction. But it’s still an interesting device, that sadly saw its days shortened by the launch of the Quest.
Underneath the hood, the Go runs on Android. With an unlocked bootloader, tinkerers could load just about anything onto the hardware. At least anything the hardware could feasibly run. Just like unlocking the bootloader allows anyone to load a custom ROM on an Android phone, you could do the same on the Go. And better yet, that means if you happen to buy a used (or never opened) Go years from now you could get it fully up to date even if the over-the-air servers are gone.
As first spotted by The Verge, Carmack made the announcement on Twitter:
Something I have been pushing on for years is going to come to pass soon:
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.
— John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) September 24, 2021
What isn’t clear yet is how soon the unlocked bootloader update will arrive. Or how exactly it will be delivered. But Carmack did suggest that this could set the precedent for unlocking other devices in the future. Perhaps we’ll see the same treatment someday for the original Oculus Quest. It’s better than devices in a landfill.
via The Verge