Computers do a lot of things well, and one of them is modeling things. Be it video games, shopping, or anything else, computer modeling happen to reproduce real environments with surprising fidelity. Crime scene investigation has used models forever, and with physics engines, spacial modeling, and the like this sort of “virtual reality” better augments police forces for dealing with and examining how a crime could have taken place.
Once such useful software has just surfaced up that will help recreate crime scenes and better understand the entire scenario. Some researchers from North Carolina State, Arizona State University, and Indiana University have developed a simulation software called IC-CRIME that allows crime scene investigators to look at a crime scene from multiple angles. Expanded as Interdisciplinary Cyber-enabled Crime Reconstruction through Innovative Methodology and Engagement, IC-CRIME allows three dimensional construction of the crime scene. The software utilizes laser scanner and a high-definition camera to capture real scenes, which is then converted into augmented reality. The project is funded by US National Science Foundation’s Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation program, which have provided $1.4 million grant. Besides, NCSU College of Engineering and Department of Computer Science are also supporting this project.
This software is an excellent example of Augmented Reality, which has now become a big thing. In fact, it has started taking a significant place in our lives, especially in the entertainment and shopping domains. The smartphone boom is revolutionizing the world of electronic commerce and how we interact with it. Augmented reality, geolocation, and virtual testers are no longer a sci-fi vision of the future and, according to experts, these present great opportunities to improve business today. To tap the opportunity, IBM Research scientists have launched a mobile shopping application for mobile terminals that combines augmented reality with in-store retail to provide personalized product information, recommendations, comparisons, coupons, links to reviews, and special offers.
And of course, another best example of augmented reality is the Google Glasses that enable users to capture and share data anytime and anyway they want to. SiliconAngle’s Kyt Dotson also predicted a possible innovation in the form of a killer app with the capability of augmented reality and acting as a second screen for mobile devices. Whatever it is, augmented reality is soon destined to become an important part of our lives, the way we see things, perceive them, and understand them. And the best part is that this will be welcomed by most tech lovers.