3D Laser Scanners Are Becoming a Tool to Document Crime Scenes
Technology could change the way crime scene investigators collect evidence
Background of 3D laser scanners
3D laser scanners and printers have become one of the hottest topics in the technology field. Why? They a sustainable way to produce objects that are high quality, and 3D laser scanners are also being used to develop and create virtual reality.
Virtual reality can be used for movies, videogame designers and now has a more serious use. Forensic investigators are now taking 3D scans of a crime scene and creating a virtual world for judges and juries to walk through.
It is no wonder that this field is growing in wealth rapidly and being adopted all over the world. It is no longer only used for large companies but now being selected by the everyday consumer. More and more uses are coming to light as the technology advances.
Police departments are adopting this technology to serve as a documentation tool
The Roanoke Police Department has officially adopted the use of 3D laser scanners for crime scenes. This allows the jury to be transported to the actual crime scenes and view it how the first responders were able to see it. This is by no means a way to replace ALL evidence, but it is a way to back up the collected evidence.
FARO 3D laser scanner known to be used to enhance public safety
The device this department uses is a 3D laser scanner that is made by FARO, who is a Florida based company. This device captures thousands of data points in a crime scene and uploads them to the cloud. This scanner produces a 3D visual record, as well as colors and each microscopic detail of the scene at hand.
The FARO scanner is incredibly accurate and precise, it is able to capture high-resolution details at 70 meters away. The Roanoke police department paid $57,000 using the forfeiture funds. Adopting the latest technology could help maintain public safety, as well as provide more evidence in cases.
The FARO 3D laser scanner provides an excellent investigative tool that allows forensic investigators to capture and save precise detail. After every piece of information is collected, a specialist is able to go through and create a virtual reality that will literally transport a group to view the crime scene. This is set up like a first-person video game, and the jury or judge would be able to see everything exactly how it was when the scene was being scanned.
This scanner will only be used to back up the evidence that has been collected. This means forensic investigators will still end up taking pictures, collecting DNA, and observing a crime scene in person. However, 3D laser scanners will provide another way to document a crime scene on top of what is being done.
This scanner has been used in 18 cases, and has not yet made it to trial but would provide another level of documentation. This 3D laser scanner is not being used for every situation but is being saved for life-threatening cases, as well as fatalities.
Adopting this technology could change the way crime scene investigators collect evidence by providing another pair of eyes that pick up more details than a human ever could.