Using the Unity 3D game development engine, researchers from North Carolina State (who are leading the development), Arizona State University, and Indiana University, have developed a simulation that allows crime scene investigators to look at a crime scene from multiple angles.
The simulation program called IC-CRIME (which stands for Interdisciplinary Cyber-enabled Crime Reconstruction through Innovative Methodology and Engagement) delivers a 3D reconstruction of a crime scene by using a laser scanner and a high-definition camera to capture real-world crime scenes. All of this is rendered using Unity 3D and the data is stored on a server so the simulation can be run via a web browser.
The simulation also allows for investigators (represented by avatars) from different parts of the country to share data with each other such as notes on the placement of evidence found, links to external evidence materials (crime documents, lab reports, photographs), and investigator notes. But the most important function that this simulation provides is the ability to revisit crime scenes long after a real-world scene has been cleaned up.
The project is funded by a $1.4 million grant from the US National Science Foundation's Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation program. The project is also being supported by the NCSU College of Engineering and Department of Computer Science through undergraduate research assistant positions.