As consumers are slowly growing accustomed to the idea of using virtual reality and augmented reality headsets for entertainment purposes, other parties have more ambitious plans for this emerging technology. Namely, in a not-too-distant future, the Dutch police may start using the Microsoft HoloLens AR headset on a daily basis. As it turns out, the police force of the said European country recently started collaborating with the Delft University of Technology, an AR company Twnkls, the Dutch Forensic Institute, and the national fire brigade with the goal of implementing AR technology into everyday activities of their officers. According to Rob Kouwenhoven, the chief inspector of the Dutch police, there is a lot of potential in utilizing AR technology for crime-fighting and order-keeping purposes.
In an interview with AD, Kouwenhoven explained how the Dutch police already started experimenting with a relatively simple AR setup consisting of a phone camera installed on an officer's shoulder and another phone attached to their wrist. This solution allows investigators to analyze crime scenes in a more efficient manner. More specifically, they are able to use the said setup to digitally mark their surroundings and leave AR notes for their colleagues. In addition to that, the Dutch police also started experimenting with the Microsoft HoloLens AR headset. As Kouwenhoven revealed, a head-mounted display such as the one offered by Microsoft could be a tremendous help to forensic investigators as it facilitates common tasks like comparing notes and analyzing crime scenes. In other words, by speeding up basic investigative methods, an AR headset could help crime detectives and forensic experts become more efficient at doing their jobs.
That's not the only advantage of AR tech Kouwenhoven sees. As the Dutch chief inspector explained to AD, augmented reality headsets would significantly facilitate the process of reconstructing crime scenes during trials. By eliminating a lot of re-enactment and paperwork usually involved with crime reconstruction in courts, AR technology could even speed up judicial proceedings. Finally, the Dutch police are also currently experimenting with an AR solution for traffic navigation which could potentially improve their response times. Provided that initial testing results are satisfactory, Kouwenhoven believes that a nation-wide implementation of this technology is only four to five years away. Microsoft has yet to comment on this independent endeavor.