Lag in Real Life: An Oculus Rift Experiment and Addressing Latency in Virtual Reality

An interesting aspect of the Oculus that not many have considered.

Oculus Rift (despite the Facebook drama) is still hyped by some as the future of virtual reality. In the video shown above, the Oculus is hooked up to a Raspberry Pi (an awesome little pocket-size PC) and a webcam to create an interesting, but terrifyingly devastating dilemma--lag.

Here, we see it happening in real life situations: your aerobics class, making food, playing ping-pong, bowling. The most basic tasks suddenly become insanely complicated. Walking is almost impossible (as you can see when the guy runs straight into a cabinet).

The video itself is an advertisement for fiber from ume.net, but it brings up some interesting questions--what happens when users playing online games with Oculus experience lag? The issue is one of Oculus's biggest problems given that latency during a gaming experience will completely ruin a virtual reality.

Hopefully the answer is that hilarious things occur. However, I think a more truthful answer would be frustration. For some insight into problems and solutions offered by John Carmack, head over to this Oculus Rift blog.

So what do you think? Latency is a huge problem among online games in general--how would you feel if your Oculus Rift experience was interrupted by lag?

Published Apr. 28th 2014
View Comments
  • TiquorSJ
    Featured Contributor
    I want one so we can test it on Brian!
  • Cortalia
    I think it brings home how far we've advanced tech wise in the last decade, but also how much room their is for improvement.

    I remember the horrid lag playing FFXI and PSO, on yes, dial-up (anyone else remember when that was the norm?). Random connection drops when the phone rang. Took about 20 seconds to load up your online banking site, video was rare, pictures were super compressed, ect ect.

    Now I can stream audio via my cellphone, using an app like sound cloud wireless anywhere in range of a 3G or LTE tower seamlessly, then broadcast it to my car speakers via bluetooth, using only voice commands to boot.

    However I think it will be a little while yet before we think of wireless virtual environments or ping-less/lagless (or close enough) game play.
  • Ananchel27
    I think, lag will never disappear from video game existence...

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