10 amazing methods of criminalistics of the future


For the police, prosecutors, criminologists and forensic experts, new technologies almost certainly will revolutionize the future of forensic science, making the apprehension and prevention of criminals more effective. These technologies can help investigators in cases of missing persons, “deaf” cases that cannot be resolved over the years, cases of sexual violence and murder. Although potential risk associated with privacy, the subject of controversy regarding the use of these technologies, it is evident that these ten cutting-edge innovations in the forensic examination and criminalistics of the future will also bring huge benefits to the authorities, victims, families of victims and society as a whole.

The face detection algorithm

Smartphones and other mobile devices equipped with software face recognition can already identify people in the ideal conditions, for example, having the photo in good quality in the database with which you can compare in real time, but such conditions often do not exist. In addition, people’s faces change over time, and donning a pair of sunglasses or growing a beard can interfere with healthy technology. The video offers a series of images, could, in theory, provide more chances for criminals to identify the subject, but it is not always the case. The bombing at the Boston marathon showed that when tested on three face recognition system, only one identified Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and none learned of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who put on his glasses.

At Animetrics may be the answer to these questions. The company has developed software that converts 2D images into simulated 3D models of a human face in about a second, and the software users can change the position or facial expression of the suspect. The resulting image you can perform all the algorithms of face recognition. On a sufficiently powerful laptop the can be mapped to a million persons Have smartphones power will be less and efficiency is lower. Experts believe that the limitations on smartphones will be removed over time through the use of cloud algorithms. Then this technology will be in the hands of the police, who will be able to instantly identify the suspects.

Fingerprint analysis

Although the computer faster searching fingerprints in a database for similarity with those obtained at the crime scene, that the analyst makes a final conclusion on whether the print in the proper degree. If the right thumbprint in the database no, the mapping cannot be done in principle, regardless of the quality of a fingerprint from the crime scene. But even if there is no match or two analysts will not agree, the fingerprint will have probative value.

Annemieke van Dam from the academic medical center at the University of Amsterdam notes that the fingerprints are, in particular, of the “proteins and fats secreted by our skin,” which “could reveal a lot of information about the person who left them”, including diet. In the future, predicts van Dam, fingerprints will even be able to determine if their owner, meat-eater or a vegetarian.

Other researchers have found that fingerprints can also show wore them the carrier of a condom, and if so, what manufacturer. Van Dam believes that in the future this analysis of fingerprints will be mediocre. But that’s not all. In the future, fingerprints, DNA allow us to establish the “genetic profile” of the suspect person, based on which the CSU will be able to recreate his physical appearance.

Prediction of eye color and hair

The judicial procedure known as a full, allows researchers to predict the color of hair and eyes of the suspect. This means that the police is not necessary to rely on the DNA profile of a person that is already stored in the database. Using 24 option DNA that predict the color of eyes and hair, and six genetic markers, the HirisPlex system to predict the presence of blond hair from 69.5% accuracy, stenovyh — 78,5%, red 80% of the brunettes to 87.5%.

This system can also distinguish between a brown-eyed black-haired people of European and non-European origin with 86% accuracy. Tests indicate that geographic ancestry does not affect the results. Although this tool is still not widely used, it is likely to be an important forensic tool in the near future.

Microbiological identification

On our skin is home to many microscopic organisms. In the future, these communities of microorganisms, known as microbiomes will help in catching criminals. Apart from the fact that microbiomes surpass in number our cells twenty-fold, no two people with the same microbiomes and these communities remain stable for a long time, except that in addition to sexual intercourse.

Although pubic hair recovered from suspects in sexual assaults may not contain roots, which contain DNA of the suspect, the microbiomes in your hair can help to convict him. Microbial DNA differs in men and women, because different microbial communities live on the pubic hair of men and women. And since these communities are unique to each individual, they determine the involvement in the crime. After sex, the microbiomes of both men and women are passed from one side to the other, making the usually stable microbial community more similar to each other. It indicates that between a man and a woman held the sexual act.

Although this advanced technology is not yet ready for use in the courtroom, because you must first bring it to “low false positive and false negative performance,” scientists predict that its use in convicting perpetrators of sexual violence, will soon become commonplace. And will provide investigators and prosecutors an effective new tool to combat sexual violence.

Matching tattoos

Using a database containing low-quality pictures of tattoos photographed by security cameras, camouflage worn by criminals, as well as excessive use of keywords to search in the database has hampered the investigation of the crime. TattooID, a new computer program, has improved this situation.

This software is effective because identificeret key points (“main points”) in samples of tattoos from the database and video surveillance or police photos of the suspect just as other programs compare images of the fingerprints for their selection. The program can also recognize the gang members, who often wear the same tattoo.


In the future morphometry (measurement of body shapes), may be used to identify the skeletal remains of missing children, today is very difficult to make the forces of conventional forensics. The breakthrough came recently, when scientists realized that “the faces of children acquire the forms that will have them later, much earlier than thought,” says Professor Anne Ross from the Department of anthropology, University of North Carolina.

The shape of the skull allows anthropologists to distinguish the different geographical populations. Now these scientists will be able to apply this procedure to younger people. In one case, Ross was able to determine the Mesoamerican origin of the remains-year-old boy with facial reconstruction. Prior to this breakthrough, it was believed that it is possible to identify only the skeletal remains of people 18 years and older.

Virtual autopsy

For religious, personal or other reasons spouse in the family sometimes do not want to conduct autopsy, that is, the autopsy of the murdered beloved, even if this procedure could provide the information needed to catch the elusive killer. Although in such cases, the court often neglects the decision of the members of the family, such decisions are extremely difficult they are perceived.

In the future, may no longer require the physical opening because it will be possible virtual. They will not damage your body or interfere with the forensic examination. You will use three-dimensional models. Currently, this procedure is not widely used, because it’s pretty expensive, but it is expected that its value will decrease as a virtual autopsy will be conducted increasingly in the future. Virtual dissection and have an additional advantage in that they will be available immediately after execution.

For example, in the case of a bite of a three-dimensional image of a virtual autopsy can be compared with jaw and dental records of the suspect (if they exist) that will help prosecutors better understand injury victims. Some believe virtual autopsy “gold standard future of forensics”.

Biomarkers of pollen

Palynology, the study of pollen has become one of the newest disciplines added to the growing area of forensic science. Pollen is everywhere, where there are flowering plants, including deserts, caves, and flowers bloom at different times. These two factors determine the specific “signature” of pollen grains, making them biomarkers associated with specific times and places.

A new method of identification of pollen will lead to the use of palynology to solve crimes which would otherwise remain unsolved. Although the pollen has already been used to determine where the original people were killed, buried in mass graves in Bosnia, and allowed to associate the robber with his crime in New Zealand while her study is not widely used in forensic science. It can be useful when searching for missing persons and in the drafting of the travel history of the offender.

However, this procedure is limited by the fact that throughout the world there are not many felinologov and colors very much. The use of bar coding and DNA sequencing, though expensive, can improve the accuracy of identification of a particular type of pollen. It is likely that biomarkers of pollen will be widely used in forensic science of the future.

Forensic examination of vehicles

Two parts of a motor vehicle — infotainment and telematics systems — can be a godsend for criminals. The first system allows the driver or passengers to connect their smartphones, using Bluetooth, or play music. The second system interacts with web sites.

When drivers or passengers use their smartphones in the car, their machines store data from devices even after disabling the infotainment systems: phone calls, contacts, SMS messages — all this is synchronized with the machine. If the connection is made via cable, stored in the file system, file names, timestamps, and other metadata.

Thanks to 70 networked electronic control units scattered throughout the vehicle, collects and stores data about where and when opened the door of the car if the airbags and seat belts, tail lights. Also, they control braking and acceleration. Now and in the future all this information can provide valuable forensic evidence against the perpetrators of the crime. It will show when and where the car was headed, what was copied and when he called passengers, what sites were visited when he opened the door when I accelerated and braked. In the heat of the chase transport of the attacker even can be controlled remotely.

Portable police laboratory

According to court Dr. Peter Massey, “the purpose of forensic examination is to export the lab to the crime scene.” Portable forensic laboratory will remove the need to send samples and data to remote locations. The research results will be instant.

A number of new methods will help facilitate this new wave field of criminology. For example, Raman spectroscopy allows researchers in the field to determine whether a suspicious powder is explosive, and not to use the substance for the destruction of such important things along with potential evidence. For many years forensic laboratories have had to use large heavy equipment for identification of drugs using a variety of gases, liquids and solids, but now infrared spectroscopy Fourier transform (FTIR) can perform the same task in less time without the need to apply such materials.

“Handheld electronic sniffer dogs” can replace dogs trained to find drugs, and “hand-detectors” can replace the breathalyzer. Scanners near infrared light visualize the veins of the person, identifying a potential intruder. Portable forensic laboratory can also be equipped with devices that can share data with government data bases for direct comparison and matching of information.

In some countries these technologies are already in use. But in the future they will be used more and more. The scene becomes a real laboratory.

10 amazing methods of criminalistics of the future
Ilya Hel