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Ume.net illustrated the negative effect of time lags in real life

Swedish broadband provider ume.net demonstrated how irritating and frustrating time lag can be via a series of real-life experiments. The company teamed up with advertising agency ANR BBDO and production company Stopp to illustrate how time lag would look like it if happened in the off-line space—for this, the team behind the project used Oculus Rift headsets.

As part of the experiment, volunteers were invited to wear Oculus Rift headsets with Raspberry Pi, webcam and noise-cancelling headphones that artificially created this lag of several seconds. The participants were then asked to perform every-day tasks like making pancakes, dancing in an aerobics class, playing table tennis and more.

The time delay and the difference in what actually happened and what they saw led to an interesting effect. The participants felt totally awkward and “out of here” just because there was a delay in picture on the digital screen.

“The equipment was developed and tested to simulate a real-life lag and set up to be controlled remotely to switch between different times of delay and quality drops,” commented Stopp. “Both sound and video could be controlled separately and combined with a few other effects like buffering and video resolution constraints… The experiment was carried out during two laughter-filled days in Umeå, Sweden.”