Laser Scanning, Crime Scenes and Video Gaming

  1. The NSF recently awarded $1.4 million for the development of a crime scene reconstruction platform.
  2. This platform will support the use of laser scanned data using a popular video gaming engine to create compelling animations of the actual crime timeline.
  3. The company – 3rdTech is an incubator for commercializing technology from the Univ. of North Carolina.

The National Science Foundation’s Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation (CDI)  program recently awarded 3rdTech 3D Graphics a $1.4 million grant to lay the foundation for greater collaboration in the field of forensic science. They are looking to 3rdTech to assist in the development of a platform that they call IC-CRIME (interdisciplinary, cyber-enabled crime reconstruction through innovative methodology and engagement.

A couple of interesting items that are part of this announcement. The first is that 3rdTech has been combining laser scanning with the powerful Unity video gaming engine to create compelling animations of the actual crime. The simulations include characters that behave as the crime scene investigators predict they did during the actual event. This could obviously have a major impact on a jury.

I wonder if this approach could not have many other applications, such as virtual construction, training scenarios in hazardous locations, such as a nuclear power plant and promotional marketing of real estate, to name a few. The key point being the combination of 3D point data with a 3D gaming engine.

Which leads to the second item of interest – 3rdTech itself. A quick check of their website reveals that they are actually a business incubator primarily for commercializing technology that is being researched and developed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Located in the world class Research Triangle Park they have access to some of the leading computer science and imaging talent. This could be fertile ground for would be entrepreneurs looking for a technology and/or funding partner.

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