As further advances in visual display technologies and force feedback devices are integrated in virtual systems, questions remain: What level of reality does the system provide to the user? Is the environment convincing enough to engage the user and to maximize transfer? Are the visual and haptic displays fully integrated to provide seamless operation in the simulated environment? Does the system provide not only the ability to navigate through a simulated environment, but also realistic interaction with instrumentation and structures? We report on our advances in developing a virtual simulation system for training in functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS). Specifically, we will present work on subject trials exploring the realism provided by integrated visual and haptic displays, and compare and contrast surface vs. volume representation for presenting realistic models of the anatomy for surgical interaction.
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