In this paper we describe how human target following performance changes in the presence of latency, latency variations, and signal dropouts. Many modern games and game systems allow for networked, remote participation. In such networks latency, variations and dropouts are commonly encountered factors.
Our user study reveals that all of the investigated factors decrease tracking performance. The errors increase very quickly for latencies of over 110 ms, for latency jitters above 40 ms, and for dropout rates of more than 10 %. The effects of target velocity on errors are close to linear, and transverse errors are smaller than longitudinal ones. The results can be used to better quantify the effects of different factors on moving objects in interactive scenarios. They also aid the designers in selecting target sizes and velocities, as well as in adjusting smoothing, prediction and compensation algorithms.