Facebook has introduced a new “Hey Facebook” wake word for its family of Portal smart displays and the Oculus Quest platform. The company only formally announced it was gradually rolling out to Quest headsets, but its Portal support page now lists “Hey Facebook” as an alternative to “Hey Portal.” A look through the Wayback Machine shows it used to only list “Hey Portal” as recently as February 5th, 2021.
Oculus owners can fret a little less knowing that it’s launching as an opt-in feature, buried in the Experimental Features panel within the headset’s settings. Oculus says it will remain that way, too, which was smart to mention, knowing that some users might fear it’ll become mandatory. You can also still use the Voice Commands app to issue commands by double-tapping the Oculus button without opting in to use the “Hey Facebook” wake word.
This seems like a natural progression for the Portal devices, but it’s more confusing for Oculus headsets, where saying “Hey Oculus” would make more sense. The intent of having it on the headset is to let you do things with your voice so that you don’t need to interrupt the VR action as much. The reasoning is sound, but it might still infuriate some users who oppose Facebook’s ever-growing presence in virtual reality. This just marks the next step.
We haven’t been able to verify if “Hey Facebook” works with Portal devices yet. But this feature is gradually rolling out to Quest 2 users first starting today and later to all Quest headsets.