ATLANTA — A Georgia company wants to use body cameras to help jurors experience a crime scene for themselves.
Utility Associates, of Decatur, Ga., is a software company that helps public safety, utilities and transit enterprises stay connected.
Simon Araya, Utility's vice president of technology, said the Smart Scene 360 allows police officers to capture a crime scene or evidence within minutes. It would be used with the company's BodyWorn police body camera.
The program, loaded onto the officer’s phone, guides them as they take a series of photos that will be stitched into a virtual image. With the help of special glasses, the picture becomes an immersive experience where the viewer can look up, down, behind them and side to side.
“If you wanted to see where things were in relation to other things, this is a good way of looking at it,” said Araya.
While the immediate benefit could be for investigators trying to review evidence or vet a witness statement weeks after the crime scene is gone, Araya believes someday the images will be used in court to give jurors better perspective on what happened.
“There’s going to come a day when it’s a necessity to have these types of things in evidence,” said Barry Morgan, Cobb County solicitor general.
Morgan said jurors are often surprised that courts are still so low tech — especially when they see devices of the future on store shelves now. Virtual reality headsets for games and movies are already in demand.
“Jurors do come in expecting that a murder case is going to be tried in 56 minutes, with DNA and everything else that was investigated a week and a half ago," he said. "Because that’s how it’s portrayed on television.”
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