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This article was published on May 24, 2016

    Jurors could visit crime scenes in VR in the future

    Jurors could visit crime scenes in VR in the future
    Ben Woods
    Story by

    Ben Woods

    Europe Editor

    Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional online poker player. You can contact him via Twitter or on Google+.

    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.