GearVR apparently won't work if you "block facebook"

May 27, 2014
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CyberReality is a frequent oculus employee who speaks to developers. What you are seeing is a series of posts on the developer board about trouble shooting a GearVR problem. CyberReality mentions to make sure that facebook "isn't blocked." The GearVR troubleshooting guide you get mentions unblocking certain applications if you are having trouble, but never mentions any sort of facebook app by name. This is the first time it has been explicitly mentioned.

Several people are dinking around ATM trying to figure out precisely what "block facebook" means and why you would need facebook to be unblocked to use a local application on your GearVR.
 
May 6, 2010
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So when Facebook dies these things will be bricks?

(If we are to hold them to the standards of game makers, and this hardware costs more money than a single game)
 
Jun 10, 2013
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#7
You think that's okay huh? How many more of you are out there? Ugh.
Never said that. It's just unsurprising. Of course Facebook is going to tell you not to block Facebook for a Facebook-owned product. They want you to be connected to Facebook.
 
May 27, 2014
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Never said that. It's just unsurprising. Of course Facebook is going to tell you not to block Facebook for a Facebook-owned product. They want you to be connected to Facebook.
this isn't telling you not to block facebook, This is preventing unrelated hardware from functioning if you block facebook. Do you really not see the difference?
 
May 27, 2014
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#13
Maybe GearVR downloads firmware/driver updates from Facebook?
Drivers and firmware updates are sideloaded with GearVR. It ships with a microSD card with all that stuff on there. I wasn't even connected to the internet the first time I used my GearVR.

And Oculus has it's own domain, separate from Facebook.com

Also. This is essentially online only, then?
You can use GearVR with no internet connection currently.
 
Jun 10, 2013
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My expectation would be that a local application doesn't require to phone home to Facebook to work.
Of course it's an expectation.

And of course VR opens up all sorts of interesting new opportunities for data collection. Sooooo if you're Facebook, why not?

Not arguing for it being good or bad. Just how it functions.
 
May 27, 2014
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Of course it's an expectation.

And of course VR opens up all sorts of interesting new opportunities for data collection. Sooooo if you're Facebook, why not?
This isn't expected at all, and it's pissing off a lot of VR developers... precisely because Oculus has been telling devs for a long time that data collection of this sort wouldn't happen.

Why not? Because this flies against what you've been telling devs for a long time now.
 
Jun 10, 2013
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This isn't expected at all, and it's pissing off a lot of VR developers... precisely because Oculus has been telling devs for a long time that data collection of this sort wouldn't happen.
Then all I guess you can do is cross your fingers and hope devs flock to other VR platforms.
 
Mar 26, 2013
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#23
Drivers and firmware updates are sideloaded with GearVR. It ships with a microSD card with all that stuff on there. I wasn't even connected to the internet the first time I used my GearVR.

And Oculus has it's own domain, separate from Facebook.com
So requiring connection to Facebook is pretty much bullshit then. There's no excuse for this.
 
May 27, 2014
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Another dumb decision from Oculus after dropping non-Windows platforms for active support.
These are the sorts of things that will ruin their business outside of gaming. In fact, this poses a huge problem for me right now - I'm working in medicine, we are developing an application for GearVR right now. We had a meeting with an MD Anderson personnel just yesterday about patient privacy concerns, and what we could and could not do. One of our big sticking points was offsite data collection - it's flat out not allowed. Our concerns was actually in relation to another piece of hardware that wasn't the GearVR, and we had to work around it.

Now I have the pleasure of going back there on tuesday and telling them about this. This is the type of shit that might cause us to ultimately move to another platform entirely.

Is this also required for Oculus?
Currently, no, but when the final version ships, most likely.
 
Apr 20, 2009
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#27
So has anyone (on gaf or elsewhere) actually tried blocking facebook to see what happens or are people just going off of this post? I don't have a GearVR so I can't test it myself.
 
Mar 26, 2013
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These are the sorts of things that will ruin their business outside of gaming. In fact, this poses a huge problem for me right now - I'm working in medicine, we are developing an application for GearVR right now. We had a meeting with an MD Anderson personnel just yesterday about patient privacy concerns, and what we could and could not do. One of our big sticking points was offsite data collection - it's flat out not allowed. Our concerns was actually in relation to another piece of hardware that wasn't the GearVR, and we had to work around it.

Now I have the pleasure of going back there on tuesday and telling them about this. This is the type of shit that might cause us to ultimately move to another platform entirely.



Currently, no, but when the final version ships, most likely.
Is there an alternative for GearVR in mobile sector?
 
May 27, 2014
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#29
So has anyone (on gaf or elsewhere) actually tried blocking facebook to see what happens or are people just going off of this post? I don't have a GearVR so I can't test it myself.
I don't have the model of GearVR they are speaking about in the OP. My model works when I both block the facebook domain and when I uninstall the application.
 
Nov 7, 2013
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No sir, I don't like it!

These are the sorts of things that will ruin their business outside of gaming. In fact, this poses a huge problem for me right now - I'm working in medicine, we are developing an application for GearVR right now. We had a meeting with an MD Anderson personnel just yesterday about patient privacy concerns, and what we could and could not do. One of our big sticking points was offsite data collection - it's flat out not allowed. Our concerns was actually in relation to another piece of hardware that wasn't the GearVR, and we had to work around it.

Now I have the pleasure of going back there on tuesday and telling them about this. This is the type of shit that might cause us to ultimately move to another platform entirely.
I wonder if they even considered applications such as yours, this is interesting.
 
May 27, 2014
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Is there an alternative for GearVR in mobile sector?
There are a few unannounced projects in the works that we have been hearing about. I can't name their names, but they are obvious players if you've been paying attention. By this time next year, there will be a couple of other all-in-one mobile VR solutions.

We also don't necessarily have to work with mobile VR for my project. We were simply targeting GearVR for simplicity.
 
Sep 30, 2013
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#32
I can see where this would be upsetting, but based on what is said in the forum post who knows what that means? If you need some sort of online connectivity to a server ala PSN or Steam it would make sense that Facebook traffic would not need to be blocked.

If you have to have a Facebook account to use the hardware, that's a bit different but I can't tell if that's what they are talking about here unless I missed something? (entirely possible cause i'm running on about 3 hours sleep)
 
May 27, 2014
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#33
If you need some sort of online connectivity to a server ala PSN or Steam it would make sense that Facebook traffic would not need to be blocked.
That is the problem. You DON'T need an internet connection for this.

This is like requiring an internet connection to use your television.

Virtual Reality is the realm of local content.
 
May 27, 2014
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#35
I have the Note 4 version and it works fine after removing everything related to Facebook on my phone.
Worth pointing out that the Note 4 version of GearVR is different from the version being talked about in the OP. Different to the point where they can't even run the same applications for the most part.
 
Jun 10, 2013
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That is the problem. You DON'T need an internet connection for this.

This is like requiring an internet connection to use your television.

Virtual Reality is the realm of local content.
Maybe it's poorly worded then? Like, "you don't have to block Facebook, so don't do it unnecessarily"
 
Dec 5, 2008
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#39
I dunno about that thread title. It's not really fair to extrapolate information from troubleshooting like that. Perhaps the facebook just hosts some dependencies or update files or whatever on their server because why wouldn't they and it could cause bugs if blocked.

That said I am a person who avoids facebook like the plague.
 
May 27, 2014
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#41
I dunno about that thread title. It's not really fair to extrapolate information from troubleshooting like that. Perhaps the facebook just hosts some dependencies or update files or whatever on their server because why wouldn't they and it could cause bugs if blocked.

That said I am a person who avoids facebook like the plague.
Again - GearVR comes with an SD card with all that stuff on it. You sideload those things. Previously, you never had to go online to get GearVR working.
 
Jun 6, 2011
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#48
It's likely they are tracking dev kits in order to get instant bug reports and dev kit usage statistics.

Iirc console dev kits have some tracking capacity once being registered. Not positive on that though.
 
Dec 5, 2008
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#50
It's likely they are tracking dev kits in order to get instant bug reports and dev kit usage statistics.

Iirc console dev kits have some tracking capacity once being registered. Not positive on that though.
It's pretty safe to assume that all the things are collecting all the metrics.

GearVR is released, it's available in retail stores.
Don't they still technically call them dev kits though? Or did they recently stop that?