Internet lag is the worst. At least we don’t have to deal with that microscopic delay in real life, though, right? Well…usually we don’t. Thanks to a doctored Oculus Rift (a virtual reality headset for 3D gaming), now we know what life would be like with an Internet lag of one second — and it’s all kinds of hilarious.
Swedish fiber broadband provider Ume.net stuck an Oculus Rift on four volunteers and, using a web cam, some headphones, and a Raspberry Pi mini computer, set it so they’d experience the real world with a one-second delay. Ostensibly it’s an ad, of course — isn’t everything these days? — but it’s a neat experiment all the same. It shows what happened when those volunteers attempted to perform common, everyday activities like taking a dance class, playing a ping pong match, trying to cook, and going bowling.
One second doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you’re online, it feels like an eternity. And in real life? It’s like eternity multiplied by eighty bajillion. It’s a point well-made and a clever advertisement; Ume.net is right. We wouldn’t put up with lag IRL, so why would we put up with it online?
Curious about exactly what each of these volunteers was seeing? They made a video for that, too:
Hello, disorientation! How are you today? I’m great, thanks!
The Oculus Rift made headlines in March when it was acquired by Facebook; although it was a move that incurred the wrath of gamers across the globe, maybe this ad bodes well for the device. Even if Facebook owns it, it can still be put to some interesting uses. Hopefully Facebook has plans for it that extend beyond social media. The last thing most of us need is to be able to walk around a virtual rendering of our news feed, right?