Virtual reality has been used in a number of interesting ways in recent years, from helping you practice your speeches to training new teachers and surgeons. Whilst it’s fair to say that it hasn’t crossed over into the mainstream yet, the number of applications is certainly growing.
Another interesting example of virtual reality in action has recently been developed by researchers from Staffordshire University. They have developed a VR crime scene to help in trials by giving jurors realistic exposure to the crime scene.
The team, from the departments of Archaeology, Forensic and Crime Science, and Games Design, have used digital recording methods to create accurate and realistic 3D crime scenes in virtual reality.
Suffice to say, in order to find its way into a real court room, the technology will have to go through some stringent tests to ensure it meets the criteria required for use in terms of information collection from the crime scene. It will also require an adaptation of the laws to allow the technology, and indeed the approach, to be used.
To this end, the team are working with officials from the Ministry of Justice and local police forces to try out this and a number of other interesting applications of technology in law and order.
The hope is that using VR technology in this way will speed up investigations and trials, whilst also improving the accuracy of decisions made by juries.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: “Making the most of new technology will remove unnecessary hearings, cut costs for litigants and make justice more accessible.”
As with any new technology however, there will be inevitable hurdles to overcome before it becomes widely deployed, and the legal profession have raised doubts over the usefulness of the technology.
“I do wonder how much difference going to a crime scene in 3D will make, compared to a standard DVD and video cameras which are used at the moment to record similar information,” one barrister says.
It will certainly be an interesting trend to track however.