From Bedford's MITRE Labs, a 3-D Crime Fighter

June 15, 2015

These days, a crime scene can be like a Hollywood movie studio, only with more cameras.

Spectators whip out their cellphones to shoot videos. The police activate cameras mounted on their vehicles or their bodies. Security cameras placed on nearby buildings also capture the scene. It could be a treasure trove of evidence for investigators. But sifting among so many videos and photos is tedious, exhausting work, and clues in any one image can be easy to overlook.

Now the MITRE Corp., a federally funded research facility in Bedford, is developing a system that uses 3-D virtual reality and image recognition technology to help investigators quickly sort through thousands of images to find the most valuable shots. Dubbed Holodeck, the system recognizes and stores important information on each image—where and when it was captured, and even what's in each picture. It can recognize objects such as cars, clothing, or packages, allowing police to run Google-like searches for specific items, such as a backpack that might contain a bomb.

Dr. Mikel Rodriguez, head of MITRE's computer vision group, calls it "data triage."

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