I hope the writers of the various crime dramas are paying attention to this one…
At the University of Zurich’s Institute of Forensic Medicine, scientists have created a new, unique way to analyze a crime scene.
It’s called the Forensic Holodeck. And it’s “the first system ever used in the whole world” to take a 3-D scan of a crime scene, according to team member and radiologist, Steffen Ross.
The system uses an Oculus Rift device, modeling software, and even gaming software to reconstruct the scene and produce the 3-D data.
In doing so, it gives investigators a deeper, more immersive insight into the events that took place from multiple angles. The evidence could also be used by lawyers, judges, and juries during trials, essentially transporting them through time and space to see the virtual crime scene.
Indeed, the technology recently helped convict a dangerous gunman, who was jailed for 11 years!
As Ross explains, “The actual result we had is a case of a reconstruction of bullet trajectories. So we placed the people in the room and we were able to have a much better look at the trajectories of the projectiles than we were able to see in a 2-D manner.”
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And that’s not the full extent of the software’s capabilities, either.
A New-Age Autopsy
Based on similar technology, the Zurich team has also invented Virtobot, which adds another layer of information to grisly autopsies by providing a “virtual autopsy.”
Robert Breitbeck is on the Institute of Forensic Medicine’s Virtopsy team. He says the technology can “scan the skin with the pattern injury in color and true to scale. We can store it and later combine it with 3-D data that the police scans with us. With this 3-D data, we do the 3-D reconstructions or visualizations of murder cases or traffic accidents.”
Personally, while my technical knowledge of the subject is limited, I find forensic science pretty fascinating when it’s applied to solving crimes. So adding this unique technology into the mix merely raises the level even more.
CSI, take note!