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FXD Forensic VR App

In a project created for the United States Department of Defense, the FXD Forensic Virtual Reality app equips U.S. intelligence personnel with a lifelike demonstration of what forensic exploitation laboratories (FXL) can accomplish, allowing them to learn how the armed forces rapidly analyze field evidence and use the results to gain actionable information on enemies abroad. 

The immersive VR experience begins with a realistic tour of an FXL, where users explore the lab and inspect specialized pieces of equipment. After completing the virtual tour, the app takes the user through an actual declassified mission: the aftermath of the 2012 attack on Camp Bastion. Within the VR environment, users move about the lab to “process” evidence such as blood samples and fingerprints to identify the surviving attacker, then use the results to link the attacker to the incident. This information is later used to expose a network of enemy operatives and allow coalition forces to take action. The development of this project brought the Department of Defense a new and exciting training tool to prepare their personnel on missions before they happen.

THE PROJECT

The Forensic Exploitation Directorate (FXD) is a segment of the Defense Forensic Science Center, the premier forensic arm of the U.S. Department of Defense. Their mission: demonstrate the capabilities of their field-deployed forensics labs to intelligence personnel (and the general population). To give users a first-hand view of these globally-positioned FXLs, Gravity Jack was tasked with replicating a mobile lab that users could explore in a virtual reality environment. 

To create this experience, the Gravity Jack team visited an FXD compound in Georgia to film inside a fully-stocked FXL. By utilizing VR technology, the app allows the user to be immersed in a realistic 360º environment. Designed for lightweight Cardboard VR headsets, the FXD app is compatible with both iOS and Android smartphones. 

The first experience within the app is a virtual tour of an FXL, allowing the user to walk around and inspect rooms of various forensic equipment such as:

  • Scanna ScanMax2 – Stationary X-Ray Machine
  • Caron Forensics Fingerprint Chamber – Humidifier
  • Thermo Scientific ST16R Centrifuge
  • Thermo Scientific Nicolet iS10 – FT-IR
  • Applied Biosystems 7500 Real-Time PCR System
  • Applied Biosystems 3130xl Genetic Analyzer
  • Eppendorf Thermomixer R
  • Bruker D2 Phaser

Above each piece of equipment is a live 3D replica that simulates how the machinery works. For example, an animated X-ray machine will accept a sample, scan, and deliver results. Users can easily navigate between rooms via an intuitive sidebar.

Upon completing the tour/tutorial, the second experience begins by describing the aftermath of the 2012 attack on Camp Bastion. After reading a case background, the user must navigate between previously explored rooms to “process” a collection of evidence including blood samples, fingerprints, rifles, and ammunition. For example, fingerprints are extracted and “uploaded” into the DoD’s database to obtain immediate results. Users are free to complete the tasks in any order, and the experience ends by recapping the final lab results (which mirror real-life events). The narration describes how this information linked the captured attacker to the incident and ultimately exposed an entire network of enemy operatives. 

The FXD Forensic VR experience allows users to explore an FXL up close and learn the full extent of its capabilities. With the power of VR technology, intelligence personnel can take immersive, interactive tours of these facilities from anywhere in the world. In prior years, sensitive material discovered in conflicts abroad had to be packaged and shipped stateside for analysis. Field-deployed FXLs eliminate this delay entirely and grant U.S. intelligence access to advanced forensic analysis, wherever the battlefield.

Deliverables

  • Virtual Reality Application
  • iOS and Android Compatibility
  • 360º Videosphere Filming
  • Custom Branded Google Cardboard VR Headsets
  • Unity 3D Development

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