Oculus Rift hack shows dangers of lag in the real world

Lag on the Internet is irritating enough, but what if you experienced a similar delay in real life? A hilarious experiment shows the havoc it could create.

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Life with lag is a humiliating experience, indeed. Video screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET
That old cliche that it's "all about timing" turns out to be more true than previously thought -- especially when you introduce the concept of lag like we've all experienced on the Internet into real life.

A Swedish broadband provider set out to make a point about how irritating lag can be by strapping a Raspberry Pi to an Oculus Rift to create a nifty little hack that simulates what lag would be like in real life. The effect basically delays what the wearer sees by anywhere from a third of a second to three seconds.

You can check out the video below to see how it went. For the most part, four volunteers saw the world with just the third of a second delay while wearing noise-cancelling headphones, and still all kinds of hilarity ensues.

Apparently, just a small amount of lag makes it near impossible for people to cook, Zumba, and perform even the most basic tasks. One poor guy gets so lost in the kitchen just trying to put down a carton of milk that he rams his head into a cupboard.

Watch the whole thing below and learn why lag and bowling definitely don't mix.

About the author

Crave freelancer Eric Mack is a writer, radio producer, and podcaster based in Taos, N.M., but he lives in Google+. He's also managing editor of Crowdsourcing.org and has written e-books on both Alaska and Android. E-mail Eric.

 

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