Depth Perception – A Major Issue in Medical AR: Evaluation Study by Twenty Surgeons

  • Tobias Sielhorst
  • Christoph Bichlmeier
  • Sandro Michael Heining
  • Nassir Navab
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4190)


The idea of in-situ visualization for surgical procedures has been widely discussed in the community [1,2,3,4]. While the tracking technology offers nowadays a sufficient accuracy and visualization devices have been developed that fit seamlessly into the operational workflow [1,3], one crucial problem remains, which has been discussed already in the first paper on medical augmented reality [4]. Even though the data is presented at the correct place, the physician often perceives the spatial position of the visualization to be closer or further because of virtual/real overlay.

This paper describes and evaluates novel visualization techniques that are designed to overcome misleading depth perception of trivially superimposed virtual images on the real view. We have invited 20 surgeons to evaluate seven different visualization techniques using a head mounted display (HMD). The evaluation has been divided into two parts. In the first part, the depth perception of each kind of visualization is evaluated quantitatively. In the second part, the visualizations are evaluated qualitatively in regard to user friendliness and intuitiveness. This evaluation with a relevant number of surgeons using a state-of-the-art system is meant to guide future research and development on medical augmented reality.


Augmented Reality Volume Rendering Depth Perception Virtual Image Triangle Mesh 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tobias Sielhorst
    • 1
  • Christoph Bichlmeier
    • 1
  • Sandro Michael Heining
    • 2
  • Nassir Navab
    • 1
  1. 1.Chair for Computer Aided Medical Procedures (CAMP)TU MunichGermany
  2. 2.Chirurgische Klinik und Poliklinik – InnenstadtLMU MunichGermany

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