Welcome to IC-CRIME

IC-CRIME is a pioneering platform for interdisciplinary, cyber-enabled crime reconstruction through innovative methodology and engagement (IC-CRIME).  Using 3D laser scanning technology paired with browser-based 3D game engines, the IC-CRIME system brings law enforcement teams together into 3D virtual reconstructions of real-world crime scenes to collaborate to solve crimes.

What Is IC-CRIME?

IC-CRIME is a revolutionary system that allows collaborative investigations of three dimensional representations of crime scenes. Crime scene investigators and other authorized personnel can collaborate with each other in viewing, exploring, and annotating these virtual crime scene models at any time from any web browser, anywhere in the world.

Within IC-CRIME, a group of investigators collaborate in a virtual meeting space, which appears in the form of a virtual investigative laboratory.  From a given laboratory, multiple different crime scenes can be simultaneously accessed by an unlimited number of other investigators or forensic experts who no longer need to be physically co-located in order to collaborate on tasks related to the physical space of a crime scene.  The screen capture below shows an IC-CRIME virtual laboratory with three concurrent users, each of whom is represented by a different 3D avatar.

The system uses the Unity3d computer game engine to allow full navigation of the virtual laboratory and virtual crime scenes. More detail on how IC-CRIME leverages the extensive capabilities of Unity3d can be found in the Tech article in the menu bar.  Also described in that article is the 3rdTech scanning technology used in the current implementation of IC-CRIME.

Using IC-CRIME, investigators are able to revisit a crime scene long after a crime scene unit has completed data collection and the scene has been released by law enforcement. The system facilitates virtual walkthroughs, and allows individual users to place virtual evidence flags into the virtual crime scene to annotate with the scene with external data sources and comments, for later review by all interested investigators.

Annotations are classified according to the type of external data provided, including photographs, fingerprints, hair and fiber data, ballistics reports, blood spatter, etc.  As shown in this screen capture, IC-CRIME can place a flag indicating a possible murder weapon, in this case a candlestick.  The green flag stick and red flag visible behind the supplied text remains in the virtual scene.  As other investigators encounter evidence flags, they can click to bring up the notes and evidence associated with the item at that location in the virtual crime scene.

The IC-CRIME system is rapidly evolving, as the system is still in the research phase.  We plan to continue to extend the system to support enhanced manipulation of the visual and audio elements to leverage fully the evolution of their underlying technologies.  In the next phase of our research we are building user-friendly tools that will IC-CRIME assist users in the authoring of what-if scenarios based on particular virtual crime scenes. Based on these scenarios, the system will automatically create cinematics (video sequences that play out within the virtual crime scene).  These what-if scenarios could aid in the collaboration between the investigative team. The discussion of scenarios could be used to aid witnesses in explaining their observations to detectives. Demonstration of hypotheses to juries could more readily convey key points about the crime scene and the crime itself.

Our research focuses on balancing the expressive power of the system with the need to simplify the work of novice users unfamiliar with 3D simulation technologies. We plan to continue to extend the system to support enhanced manipulation of the visual and audio elements to leverage fully the evolution of their underlying technologies. Our goal is for IC-CRIME to serve as a common platform that integrates a range of media into a powerful collaborative workspace.