Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 623–626 | Cite as

The forensic holodeck: an immersive display for forensic crime scene reconstructions

  • Lars C. EbertEmail author
  • Tuan T. Nguyen
  • Robert Breitbeck
  • Marcel Braun
  • Michael J. Thali
  • Steffen Ross
Technical Report



In forensic investigations, crime scene reconstructions are created based on a variety of three-dimensional image modalities. Although the data gathered are three-dimensional, their presentation on computer screens and paper is two-dimensional, which incurs a loss of information. By applying immersive virtual reality (VR) techniques, we propose a system that allows a crime scene to be viewed as if the investigator were present at the scene.


We used a low-cost VR headset originally developed for computer gaming in our system. The headset offers a large viewing volume and tracks the user’s head orientation in real-time, and an optical tracker is used for positional information. In addition, we created a crime scene reconstruction to demonstrate the system.


In this article, we present a low-cost system that allows immersive, three-dimensional and interactive visualization of forensic incident scene reconstructions.


Forensic medicine Virtopsy Crime scene reconstruction Immersive virtual reality 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lars C. Ebert
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tuan T. Nguyen
    • 1
  • Robert Breitbeck
    • 1
  • Marcel Braun
    • 2
  • Michael J. Thali
    • 1
  • Steffen Ross
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Forensic Medicine, VirtopsyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.City Police Zurich, Accident ServiceZurichSwitzerland

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