Dr. Huidong Bai is a Research Fellow at the Empathic Computing Laboratory (ECL) established within the Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI, University of Auckland). His areas of research include exploring remote collaborative Mixed Reality (MR) interfaces with spatial scene reconstruction and segmentation, as well as integrating empathic sensing and computing into the collaboration system to enhance shared communication cues.
Before joining the ECL, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Human Interface Technology Laboratory New Zealand (HIT Lab NZ, University of Canterbury), and focused on multimodal natural interaction for mobile and wearable Augmented Reality (AR).
Dr. Bai received his Ph.D. from the HIT Lab NZ in 2016, supervised by Prof. Mark Billinghurst and Prof. Ramakrishnan Mukundan. During his Ph.D., he was also a software engineer intern in the Vuforia team at Qualcomm in 2013 for developing a mobile AR teleconferencing system, and has been an engineering director in a start-up, Envisage AR since 2015 for developing industrial MR/AR applications.
Virtual Reality (VR) Head-Mounted Display (HMD) technology immerses a user in a computer generated virtual environment. However, a VR HMD also blocks the users’ view of their physical surroundings, and so prevents them from using their mobile phones in a natural manner. In this project, we present a novel Augmented Virtuality (AV) interface that enables people to naturally interact with a mobile phone in real time in a virtual environment. The system allows the user to wear a VR HMD while seeing his/her 3D hands captured by a depth sensor and rendered in different styles, and enables the user to operate a virtual mobile phone aligned with their real phone.
This project introduces an immersive way to experience a conference call - by using a 360° camera to live stream a person’s surroundings to remote viewers. Viewers have the ability to freely look around the host video and get a better understanding of the sender’s surroundings. Viewers can also observe where the other participants are looking, allowing them to understand better the conversation and what people are paying attention to. In a user study of the system, people found it much more immersive than a traditional video conferencing call and reported that they felt that they were transported to a remote location. Possible applications of this system include virtual tourism, education, industrial monitoring, entertainment, and more.
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. Team: Performer/Script Writer - Tania Remana Designer - Mairi Gunn Supervision - Mark Billinghurst & Huidong Bai Developer - Prasanth Sasikumar Haptics - Sachith Muthukumarana Technical support - Ryo Hajika & Steve Hind
This project explores how tool-based asymmetric VR interfaces can be used by artists to create immersive artwork more effectively. Most VR interfaces use two input methods of the same type, such as two handheld controllers or two bare-hand gestures. However, it is common for artists to use different tools in each hand, such as a pencil and sketch pad. The research involves developed interaction methods that use different input methods in the edge hand, such as a stylus and gesture. Using this interface, artists can rapidly sketch their designs in VR. User studies are being conducted to compare asymmetric and symmetric interfaces to see which provides the best performance and which the users prefer more.
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
Bai, H., Zhang, L., Yang, J., & Billinghurst, M. (2021). Bringing full-featured mobile phone interaction into virtual reality. Computers & Graphics, 97, 42-53.
Gao, L., Bai, H., He, W., Billinghurst, M., & Lindeman, R. W. (2018, December). Real-time visual representations for mobile mixed reality remote collaboration. In SIGGRAPH Asia 2018 Virtual & Augmented Reality (p. 15). ACM.
Gao, L., Bai, H., Lindeman, R., & Billinghurst, M. (2017, November). Static local environment capturing and sharing for MR remote collaboration. In SIGGRAPH Asia 2017 Mobile Graphics & Interactive Applications (p. 17). ACM.
Zou, Q., Bai, H., Gao, L., Fowler, A., & Billinghurst, M. (2022, March). Asymmetric interfaces with stylus and gesture for VR sketching. In 2022 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces Abstracts and Workshops (VRW) (pp. 968-969). IEEE.
Zou, Q., Bai, H., Zhang, Y., Lee, G., Allan, F., & Mark, B. (2021). Tool-based asymmetric interaction for selection in vr. In SIGGRAPH Asia 2021 Technical Communications (pp. 1-4).
Nassani, A., Bai, H., Lee, G., Langlotz, T., Billinghurst, M., & Lindeman, R. W. (2018, October). Filtering 3D Shared Surrounding Environments by Social Proximity in AR. In 2018 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality Adjunct (ISMAR-Adjunct) (pp. 123-124). IEEE.
L. Wang, Z. Zhao, X. Yang, H. Bai, A. Barde and M. Billinghurst, "A Constrained Path Redirection for Passive Haptics," 2020 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces Abstracts and Workshops (VRW), Atlanta, GA, USA, 2020, pp. 651-652, doi: 10.1109/VRW50115.2020.00176.
Zhang, L., He, W., Cao, Z., Wang, S., Bai, H., & Billinghurst, M. (2022). HapticProxy: Providing Positional Vibrotactile Feedback on a Physical Proxy for Virtual-Real Interaction in Augmented Reality. International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, 1-15.
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.
Nassani, A., Zhang, L., Bai, H., & Billinghurst, M. (2021, May). ShowMeAround: Giving Virtual Tours Using Live 360 Video. In Extended Abstracts of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1-4).
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).