After successful adaption of VR by video game designers, filmmakers and journalists, virtual reality has shown up at a surprising place: courtrooms. With the level of details offered by immersive technology, virtual reality offers a way to see crime scene or a reconstruction of crime that cannot be captured by witness testimonies and photographs.
Jurors can watch a crime from a clearly new perspective. By using VR, a 3D reconstruction of crime scene allows them to see how an event happened. Certain versions even let jurors and crime investigators interact with elements inside VR. They can pick up objects and investigate a situation from various angles, which isn’t possible in flat-printed photographs.
“We’re seeing large interactive displays where the whole crime scene may have been reconstructed in a virtual world.”
~ Damian Schofield, Professor at State University of New York
VR appears to have taken legal world by storm with its game-changing potential and is predicted to be adapted in a trial setting soon enough. Legal scholars and researchers are now investigating the applications of virtual reality in courtroom. Staffordshire University has started experimentation on a project with similar virtual reality applications that will transform the way jurors can access a crime scene.
Traditional trial graphics cannot walk the jurors through a complex criminal case as effectively as virtual reality can. There’s no doubt that reenacting a scene in VR can engage jurors far more compellingly than conventional rendering can.
The application and mass adoption of VR in courtroom will probably depend on whether it can successfully manage to create what other media cannot. It’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ virtual reality will take over our lives and subsequently in courtrooms.