In the old days (yesterday) investigators had to rely on thing like tape measures, digital cameras, camcorders, and pencil drawings to preserve images of crime scenes. But technology changes rapidly. Companies like 3rd Tech (image above), UTEK, and Leica have made the business of recording crime scene images and measurements much easier, more accurate, and a lot more fun. Cop do love toys.
Most High Definition Laser Scanners use a tripod mounted laser that incorporates the use of a digital camera, also mounted on the tripod. The device captures approximately 9 million measurements in a panoramic view in about 12 minutes (the same measurements by human could take 12-15 hours). Every single item in the laser’s field of view is measured and recorded, even a fly if it’s in the scene. Those measurements are fed into a laptop which converts them into a complete 360 degree view of the crime scene (Remember the TV show Crime 360? We featured the show’s vice president here on The Graveyard Shift).
High Def. Laser Images can be shown to juries, which allows the fate-deciders an opportunity to view the scene as it was on the night in question. One of the best things about the devices, such as 3rd Tech’s DeltaSphere-300 3D Scene Digitizer, is that there’s no human error involved. The computer makes, and can recall all the measurements, at any time, even many years later.
The Deltasphere even has a feature called Viewpoint, which allows the investigator, juries, etc. to virtually stand at any point in the scene and see what the suspect or victim could see from that same vantage point. This feature even takes into account the person’s height and adjusts accordingly, so the viewer is seeing things exactly as the victim or killer did when they entered the scene.
The price tag for a Deltasphere…a little less than $70,000.