Videogames find ways to help real CSI solve crimes

Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:51am EST
 
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By John Gaudiosi

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters Life!) - In hit TV crime drama show "C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation," and its two spin-offs, the criminologists use the latest technology to solve grisly murders and other crimes.

Soon, real criminal investigation teams will be using videogame technology to help forensic scientists collaborate virtually to re-create what happened at the scene of the crime.

"The problem is that while there have been major advancements in the field of forensic science technology, how investigative teams come together to collaborate has not changed over the years," said Dr. Mitzi Montoya, Zelnak Professor of Marketing and Innovation Management at North Carolina State University (NC State).

NC State recently received a $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation's Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation (CDI) program to help lay a foundation that promotes greater collaboration in the field of forensic science - a platform they call IC-CRIME (interdisciplinary, cyber-enabled crime reconstruction through innovative methodology and engagement).

The IC-CRIME platform will employ the latest in 3-D laser scanning technologies and run on the Unity game engine technology, which powers over 50 commercial games like "FusionFall" and "VooDude."

The laser scanner technology, developed by Research Triangle Park company 3rdTech, will allow investigators to accurately record room and object dimensions, as well as the placement of every piece of evidence in a crime scene.

GAMING TO CRIME

The scanners can capture millions of data points at a crime scene within a few minutes and recreate highly detailed virtual crime scenes.   Continued...

 
<p>An example of IC-CRIME's laser scanner technology in an undated image. Soon, real criminal investigation teams will be using videogame technology to help forensic scientists collaborate virtually to re-create what happened at the scene of the crime. REUTERS/NC State/Handout</p>