Prasanth Sasikumar is a PhD candidate with particular interests in Multimodal input in Remote Collaboration and scene reconstruction. He received his Master’s degree in Human-Computer interaction at the University of Canterbury in 2017. For his Masters Thesis he has worked on incorporating wearable and non wearable Haptic devices in VR sponsored by MBIE as part of NZ/Korea Human-Digital Content Interaction for Immersive 4D Home Entertainment project.
Prasanth has a keen interest in VR and AR applications and how they may assist industry to better solve problems. Currently, he is doing his PhD research under the supervision of Prof. Mark Billinghurst and Dr. Huidong Bai in Empathic Computing Lab at the University of Auckland.
This project explores if XR technologies help overcome intercultural discomfort by using Augmented Reality (AR) and haptic feedback to present a traditional Māori greeting. Using a Hololens2 AR headset, guests see a pre-recorded volumetric virtual video of Tania, a Māori woman, who greets them in a re-imagined, contemporary first encounter between indigenous Māori and newcomers. The visitors, manuhiri, consider their response in the absence of usual social pressures. After a brief introduction, the virtual Tania slowly leans forward, inviting the visitor to ‘hongi’, a pressing together of noses and foreheads in a gesture symbolising “ ...peace and oneness of thought, purpose, desire, and hope”. This is felt as a haptic response delivered via a custom-made actuator built into the visitors' AR headset.
Gunn, M., Billinghurst, M., Bai, H., & Sasikumar, P. (2021). First Contact‐Take 2: Using XR technology as a bridge between Māori, Pākehā and people from other cultures in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Virtual Creativity, 11(1), 67-90.
Sasikumar, P., Collins, M., Bai, H., & Billinghurst, M. (2021, May). XRTB: A Cross Reality Teleconference Bridge to incorporate 3D interactivity to 2D Teleconferencing. In Extended Abstracts of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1-4).
Huidong Bai, Prasanth Sasikumar, Jing Yang, and Mark Billinghurst. 2020. A User Study on Mixed Reality Remote Collaboration with Eye Gaze and Hand Gesture Sharing. In Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1–13. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3313831.3376550
Barde, A., Saffaryazdi, N., Withana, P., Patel, N., Sasikumar, P., & Billinghurst, M. (2019, October). Inter-brain connectivity: Comparisons between real and virtual environments using hyperscanning. In 2019 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality Adjunct (ISMAR-Adjunct) (pp. 338-339). IEEE.
Pai, Y. S., Hajika, R., Gupta, K., Sasikumar, P., & Billinghurst, M. (2020). NeuralDrum: Perceiving Brain Synchronicity in XR Drumming. In SIGGRAPH Asia 2020 Technical Communications (pp. 1-4).
Gumilar, I., Barde, A., Sasikumar, P., Billinghurst, M., Hayati, A. F., Lee, G., ... & Momin, A. (2022, April). Inter-brain Synchrony and Eye Gaze Direction During Collaboration in VR. In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts (pp. 1-7).