Conventional surgical telementoring systems require the trainee to shift focus away from the operating field to a nearby monitor to receive mentor guidance. This paper presents the next generation of telementoring systems. Our system, STAR (System for Telementoring with Augmented Reality) avoids focus shifts by placing mentor annotations directly into the trainee's field of view using augmented reality transparent display technology. This prototype was tested with pre-medical and medical students. Experiments were conducted where participants were asked to identify precise operating field locations communicated to them using either STAR or a conventional telementoring system. STAR was shown to improve accuracy and to reduce focus shifts. The initial STAR prototype only provides an approximate transparent display effect, without visual continuity between the display and the surrounding area. The current version of our transparent display provides visual continuity by showing the geometry and color of the operating field from the trainee's viewpoint.
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