CSI The Hague

Systems Engineering and Mediated Reality

Breakthrough in forensic investigation. At the scene of a crime, all traces of evidence need to be identified and made secure as quickly as possible. CSI The Hague gives a new dimension to this by applying Mediated Reality; bringing invisible pieces of evidence to life. To put it more strongly, CSI The Hague provides a virtual crime scene that always remains intact and can always be investigated. The Systems Engineering section at TU Delft is one of the ‘partners in crime’. 

Working on digitising the crime scene in CSI The Hague are TU Delft, the Dutch Forensic Institute and many other parties. Special mediated-reality glasses have been designed, for example, with which the first person to arrive can record the scene and all traces of evidence. He can also add information, such as text, Post-it Notes and cordon tape, and even reconstruct the trajectory of a projectile. What is of great value is that a forensic expert can look on at a distance and give advice about collecting traces of evidence such as DNA. Moreover, this person is able to carry out the same interventions. In future, it will be possible to make a 3D reconstruction of the scene and to review all of the information with the glasses on.

The first experiments with a reconstructed murder in the CSI lab of the Dutch Forensic Institute are indicating a breakthrough. One of the conclusions is that the technology works exceedingly well. The expert in the background, for example, can give good instructions, partly through the combination of both sound and image. Nevertheless, there are also points for improvement. The person at the scene, for example, felt almost like a robot, especially when the expert in the background made unannounced interventions. The expert indicated to have missed the sense of a real crime scene and was afraid to have overlooked certain details. Accustomed to such complex issues, Systems Engineering is now focusing on a participatory system that takes into account issues such as situational awareness, cooperation, trust and human interaction. The response from police and criminal investigations at home and abroad have been positive: CSI The Hague is making an important contribution to the innovation of forensic investigation and as such is of great social importance. 

Typical TPM

Mediated (or Augmented) Reality and Virtual Co-location are research programmes of the Systems Engineering section within the department of Multi-Actor Systems of TPM.

Typical for TPM is that not only a technical approach is chosen for issues, but also attention is paid to the social and administrative aspects. This integrated approach adds value to technically complex issues involving multiple actors.