For its family of Portal smart displays and the Oculus Quest platform, Facebook has launched a new “Hey Facebook” wake term. The company only officially announced that it was eventually rolling out into Quest headsets, but “Hey Facebook” is now listed as an alternative to “Hey Portal” on its Portal support website. As recently as February 5th, 2021, a look at the Wayback Machine reveals it used to list “Hello Portal” only.
Oculus owners should fear a little less that it is being introduced as an opt-in feature, buried inside the settings of the headset in the Experimental Features panel. Oculus claims it’s going to continue that way, too, which was wise to mention, considering that certain people may be scared that it’s going to become obligatory.
You can still also use the Voice Commands software to give commands without opting in to use the “Hello Facebook” wake word by double-tapping the Oculus button.
For the Portal computers, this seems like a logical development, but it is more complicated for Oculus headsets, where it would make more sense to say “Hello Oculus.” The aim of getting it on the headset is to encourage you to do something with your voice so that the VR action doesn’t need to be disrupted too much.
The logic is valid, but some users who condemn the ever-growing role of Facebook in virtual reality may still be infuriated. It merely marks the next move.W
e haven’t been able to check whether “Hey Facebook” is still operating with smartphones on the Portal. But this feature is rolled out progressively to Quest 2 users, first to all Quest headsets beginning today and later.