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VR Could Help Settle Court Cases With Virtual Crime Scenes

A robot inspired by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rober could do the dirty work, making sure no evidence is tampered with.

The ways we can use virtual reality (VR) seem endless as more and more applications are found. It has now been theorised that VR could in fact help juries reach conclusions faster and more accurately.

In an article by The Conversation, it was said that as pictures and evidence can be rearranged, staged, and generally tampered wih, VR can reproduce crime scenes digitally and more accurately: “Jurors could potentially take a walk around the 3D worlds rendered using the system, 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. This, of course, relies on those gathering the data to objectively preserving the crime scene without staging or tampering.”

forensic VR video durham university

However, for this to come anywhere near reality, there is one problem outlined: the actual accessibility of head-mounted displays (HMD) and the hardware it needs to be able to run. But those from Durham University have proposed that developing something similar to NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover to take 360 degree videos so that it can be watched on something cheaper like a Google Cardboard.

It is discussed that this robot that could be developed could capture evidence in several ways: HD 360 video could be recorded of a set path through the scene, the robot could be controlled via bluetooth or smartphone to ensure there be no way for people to change the evidence, or it could use ultrasonic, motion, and infrared sensors to know what to take pictures of and film.

Now, this isn’t just all talk, as there is a way for this robot to materialise – all for £299, much cheaper than most of the hardware on the market today for VR. Another idea also involved the use of Google’s Project Tango to render 3D images in real-time. Either way, there is much room for improvement and steps are seemingly likely to be taken in the direction of VR.

For more on the latest in the world of VR, make sure to check back with VRFocus.

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