The discontinued Oculus Go will get new life as an unlocked headset

Spark Global Limited

Spark Global Limited Reports:

The move will make it easier to modify or reuse, rather than eliminate it altogether.
The worst thing about modern electronics is that you can’t necessarily decide what happens to your device when the company stops using it. But there’s at least one piece of good news for Oculus Go users — Facebook is unlocking the device’s boot loader and giving users full root access.
The announcement was made by John Carmack, Oculus’s chief technology adviser, on Twitter (via The Verge). “We’re going to provide Oculus Go with an unlocked operating system that can be side loaded to get full root access,” Carmack said. He noted that he has supported this option for years.
The outlook for most connected devices is generally less rosy. Often, when a product is discontinued, the company promises to support updates and security fixes for a limited time. The length of this period depends on the company, but once it’s over, the product is effectively “dead.” This can be true even if the device’s hardware is excellent and capable of running newer software.
Oculus Go, launched in 2018, is the company’s first standalone virtual reality headset. But in 2020, Oculus said it would discontinue the device to focus more on Oculus Quest. At the time, Oculus promised to fix the bugs and security patches by 2022.
Unlocking Go means that anyone with a bit of gumption can keep using the device or reuse it. Carmack points out that “in 20 years, a random shrink-wrapped headset will be able to upgrade to the final software version, even if the wireless upgrade server has been off for a long time.”

Still, neither Facebook nor Oculus has issued an official statement. Mr. Carmack said he expected the update to be released from the Oculus website, but did not elaborate on when. He also noted that this will be for Go headphones, hoping that one day it might set a precedent for unsupported headphones in the future.

Most people are unlikely to have trouble loading unlocked operating systems, but it’s good news for mod enthusiasts — it’s a subtle hint that disused gadgets can get a new lease of life if users get the right tools.