These days, we’ve become used to instant gratification, whether it’s ordering at a drive-through. And latency makes us cry.
Looking up incredibly important information on the connected computer in your pocket, or gaming with someone on the other side of the planet,
We expect lots of things to happen instantaneously. But as much as our technology has advanced, we’re still fighting the dreaded problem of latency.
What do I mean by latency?
And no, I’m not talking about your repressed Freudian desires. What I mean by latency is the gap in time between some kind of input,
Like a keypress turning your head in a VR headset and the system spitting out the appropriate response.
And this latency affects the way that you use tons of things in the real world.
But why don’t electricity and radio waves travel super fast?
Well, yes, they do In fact, radio waves travel at the speed of light while electricity traveling through wires can go up to nearly the speed of light.
But the issue isn’t with how quickly a signal goes from A to B. Instead, latency is caused by processing times.
And since any kind of input to a computer has to be processed, everything has at least some amount of latency.
This can be very noticeable in situations where a slow, hard drive causes doing something simple, like finding a picture on your computer to be agonizingly slow,
Or when a web page is designed poorly and you can’t click on anything for a few seconds while it finishes rendering.
You’ve also probably noticed latency if. Well, if you’ve ever watched an interview via satellite on a news channel where the subject takes a few seconds to start responding to the reporter’s questions,
Often these kinds of latency won’t completely screw up what you’re trying to do. I mean, waiting an extra 15 seconds to look at that TPS report probably won’t ruin your day,
But latency can be an absolute killer in other situations if you enjoy playing games online.
High network latency is caused by processing at each point in the network can cause weird Laggy behavior that can result in catastrophic in-game mishaps or even getting kicked off the game server completely.
And believe it or not, the consequence of high latency can be even worse than getting fragged in Cisco,
With car manufacturers increasingly installing backup cameras and some cars even completely ditching mirrors in favor of cameras such as this BMW i8.
Low latency is a must so that drivers can react to hazards in time. Even half a second delay could lead to a tragic accident.
how do you cut down on latency other than just having a faster computer?
Well, in computing context, a common tactic is to use wires where possible instead of going wireless.
A good example of this is how current VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive rely on wired connections to a PC.
Although these wires are cumbersome, wireless tech typically has greater latency due to more complicated processing,
Which could mean disorienting or nauseating display lag when you’re in a virtual world.
This is sometimes called a motion to photon latency. And if you’re gaming online and you have a choice of servers, pick the one geographically closest to you.
Although electrical signals travel insanely quickly, the latency of a few hundred milliseconds can still be an issue when you’re connecting to a faraway server, and that’s enough to wreck your gaming experience. In most cases,
Some Of Them Use Application To Reduce It
There’s also software and even special network adapters that push through data packets from your game before others so, they won’t be stuck waiting around for other applications on your system.
Some routers can even be configured to push packets to your system first to reduce latency.
If a few people on your network are rudely deciding that now was the time that they have to watch that episode on Netflix.
Now, of course, you’re never going to get rid of latency completely. I mean, there’s even eye to brain latency.
Since your brain needs time to make sense of whatever the heck you’re looking at,
The goal is to get it down to an acceptable level that won’t leave you frustrated or with a lawsuit on your hands because your backup camera didn’t show you that little old lady in time.
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