Researchers at Staffordshire University in the UK are working on a way for jurors to get a whole lot more insight into the alleged crimes that they are asked to rule on, according to a report from the BBC.
In essence, the project combines increasingly ubiquitous virtual reality (VR) headsets with green screen technology to “transport” people to a crime scene. Of course, to achieve this requires a change in the way data and other information is collected at a crime scene; it’s not as simple as just slapping on a VR headset.
To achieve its needs, the project – which has received just over $200,000 (£140,000) in funding via an EC grant – has experimented with things like lasers and drones, so a more complete digital reconstruction can be built from any crime scene.
While the potential for revolutionizing the courtroom with technology makes a compelling argument – simplicity around details for jurors could help complex cases – it also potentially leaves open the possibility that the crime scenes are contaminated (or perhaps more accurately, biased) in a new way: if the data collection wasn’t done properly, jurors could see themselves missing out on key evidence in a case.
As with all technology, it’s fallible.