3 Ways That Tech Has Changed Forensic Science

Technology has changed just about every industry, including law enforcement. Indeed, television viewers who watch shows like CSI: Las Vegas get an up-close-and-personal view of how tech is used to solve crimes. This heightened interest in technology in law enforcement is also one of the reasons that visitors to Las Vegas attractions like CSI: The Experience love the exhibit. In that spirit, here’s a deeper look at some of the technologies that law enforcement professionals and forensic scientists are using and will continue to use in their jobs.

Computer-Aided Facial Reconstruction

Probably most people are familiar with the forensic artists who are able to reconstruct a crime victim’s face using a cast of a person’s skull, along with some modeling clay. Computer 3D facial reconstruction takes this task one step further by using computer digital imaging to recreate the person in question. The victim’s skull is scanned into a computer program, which then makes “guesses” about the construction of the face based on the information that the computer program has read from the bones. At the moment, the technology isn’t quite perfected, and the process is time-consuming. However, this work will continue to play a role in forensic science.

Ballistics Photography

This photography technique allows forensic scientists and authorities to see the how different bullets and other projectiles might create gunshot wounds and bullet holes in walls, furniture, etc. It also gives these professionals an idea how glass and other substances react to bullets and other projectile weapons. A high-speed camera does the work in this case.


The use of drones in law enforcement and even warfare extends back to the 1800s, when both Union and Confederate soldiers used balloons laden with explosives to take out (or at least, try to) the enemy’s stashes of supplies and ammo. Nowadays, drone technology is used to map a geographic area, in search and rescue operations and by law enforcement. In the future, drone technology could provide video analysis for law enforcement as well as see-through imaging and night vision. It is estimated that there will at least 30,000 drones in operation in the US by the year 2030.


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