Virtual Reality Could Revolutionize The Courtroom

Next time you receive that dreaded jury duty summons, your experience may just be a little different with the help of VR. What if you could be in the middle of the crime scene without even leaving the courtroom?

Traditionally, crime scene investigators (CSIs) gather and use evidence to recreate the precise sequence of events that occurred during a crime. Part of this reconstruction process is photography and sketching, with the latter still largely done by hand.

Photos and video give only a limited picture of the crime scene, restricted by the photographer's field of view and subject to their interpretation of the scene and the importance they place on different pieces of evidence. 

VR technology is now emerging that could enable the CSI investigators to capture and relay a much more immersive and representative picture of crime scenes, using 3D imaging, panoramic videography, robotics and virtual reality.

Researchers at Staffordshire University in the UK, led by Caroline Sturdy Colls, used green screens, video game software and the latest virtual reality headsets (such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive) to reproduce virtual crime scenes digitally.

Jurors could then potentially take a walk around the 3D crime scene and examine vital details of the scene. Unlike an edited video created to sway the jury, this form of evidence would be a simple matter of documenting a scene. 

Next time the jury duty summons arrives in your mailbox, you never know, you may view the crime in VR.

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