A man with his clothes in disarray lay dead with his face down on a bloodied floor with boot marks. Strewn around were a blood-stained knife, an uncapped lipstick, a wallet, an empty soft drink can, and a pair of footwear.
It looked like a crime scene, although it was a simulated one. The stall demonstrating Crime Scene Recreation in Metaverse, an immersive 3D virtual space that transports investigators and jurors to a crime scene, developed by Gyaan Innovation Lab of the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Kottayam, in collaboration with the Kerala Police Cyberdome, was one of the highlights of the latest edition of cOcOn that got under way in Kochi on Friday.
“Testing the technology on a real crime scene to verify its effectiveness remains the next step as the technology is ready to be deployed. We have developed our own software platform VEMP [Virtual Event Management Platform] to create a virtual replica of the crime scene including all relevant objects, structures, and terrain without the support of any third party software,” said Anuroop K.B., Chief Innovation Officer, IIIT Kottayam.
The technology helps in collecting all available data about a crime scene using scanning technology to create a 3D model accurately capturing the scene’s geometry and objects, which is then imported into VEMP.
“Unlike the current system where the investigation officer has to take in the entire crime scene during his visit or rely on photos and videos offering only one dimensional perspective, this technology supported by Virtual Reality headset offers far greater perspectives of the crime scene. It can be accurately captured and safely stored to be recalled when the investigation officers change and before the court,” said Gokul Krishnan, a member of the lab.
Among the many benefits of the technology are improved crime scene analysis, enhanced courtroom presentations, collaboration and remote access, data security and privacy, time and cost savings, training and education, and consistent record keeping. It is expected to help law enforcement agencies, forensic investigators, judges and legal professionals to enhance their investigative capabilities, thus facilitating expedited legal proceedings, cutting down unnecessary hearings, reducing litigation costs, and ultimately contributing to the pursuit of justice.
“We have built in a predictive model into the technology for the uncaptured details. The captured crime scene can be hosted within Cyberdome with restricted access or can be stored in cloud. The highly compressed images reducing a crime scene to just 30 MB is another advantage of the technology, which we have been developing on the request of the police for the last three years,” said Mr. Anuroop.