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Too Real? The Future of Virtual Reality Evidence

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Abstract:

Immersive virtual environments (IVEs), or virtual reality, could soon follow other visual technologies from the culture at large to the courtroom. The unprecedented realism of IVEs may be thought to pose peculiar risks of prejudice and confusion that would militate against their use as demonstrative evidence. In particular, some believe that jurors will be unable to distinguish IVEs from reality, and that IVEs are so involving that they will transform jurors from disinterested judges of, into witnesses to, or even participants in, litigated events, impairing their objectivity. This article analyzes these concerns and shows them to be overstated. The article also discusses other judgmental risks and benefits presented by the use of IVEs in court, and concludes that the admissibility of IVE evidence should be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9930.2006.00227.x

Affiliations: Quinnipiac University School of Law

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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