Time-Travel simulation with Oculus Rift
You are playing Counter Strike and you have that one player who’s always bested you at this game, in your crosshairs. You are poised to humiliate him in the greatest possible way by ripping him open with your knife and that’s when it happens! The screen freezes for 3 secs and when it’s back to normal, you’re lying in a pool of your own blood, with the enemy player rat-a-tatting away in glory. Every gamer knows what I’m talking about! It’s our greatest enemy, always unseen and showing up where it is least expected – Lag.
To promote its fast internet service of 1 GBPS (Hey Flash – are you listening to this?) UmeNet used Oculus Rift to demonstrate how lag would feel in real life. They had 4 volunteers strapped with Oculus Rift, noise cancelling earphones, webcam – the entire works and made them perform everyday tasks.
“Wow!” you might say “that’s like living in a virtual reality”. But there was a catch – the video fed to these volunteers had a 3 second lag. Imagine me throwing a ripe juicy tomato at you. You dodge it successfully, patting yourself on the back for having the reflexes that your physical training teacher claimed you never had while awarding you a D-grade, only to be creamed by the tomato 3 seconds later. Guess we feel the helplessness of the guinea pigs of this experiment.
As you must have seen in the video, one of the volunteers was made to play Table-Tennis and going by the way he played, an intoxicated 3-year old might have beaten him. The dance-class became a scene straight out of Mortal-Combat. Sanjeev Kapoor would have sued them if he had to look at the volunteer trying to cook a simple breakfast with eggs and milk. Bowling was another level of humiliation in itself.
Undoubtedly, it was a brilliant experiment, though just an advertising campaign but what the heck- 10 points for its uniqueness. What an idea sirjee! But then, knowing that Facebook has purchased Oculus Rift already, I sincerely hope that Zuckerberg seeks no inspiration here.
On that note, would you like to experience such a lag in your daily life?