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AURORA, IL – FEB 26, 2019 - Recently, ICPHSO attendees in Washington D.C. hit the floor in droves to “virtually experience” what it’s like to be trapped in a home elevator – caught between the two sets of doors as the elevator begins to move. Why would people line up for that kind of experience? The answer is simple. What better way for a health and safety professional to understand the risks of a product or environment than to experience them personally?

Real-World Applications in Action

The powerful new virtual reality (VR) exhibit served as the perfect complement to the session, “A Computer-Generated Reality is Worth 1000 Words,” an interactive demonstration of traditional and breakthrough technologies currently being used to capture and convey critical information in high-stakes environments. Highlights from the presentation include:

  • Live audience-participation memory activity to illustrate the impact of visualization on retention
  • Virtual reality tour of an accident scene
  • Real-time demonstration combining laser scanning and drone technology for data capture
  • Demonstrations combining 3D laser scanned data with 3D animated surrogates to “show” how an accident happened

Following the interactive demonstrations, panelists Dennis Brickman, P.E. (ESi), David Krugler (Cash, Krugler & Fredericks), Michael Van Bree (Louisville Ladder), and Cheryl Possenti (Goldberg Segalla LLP) guided attendees through practical uses of these technologies in real-world scenarios, bringing to life how science and technology can come together to help investigators preserve and analyze a product or scene when accuracy and understanding are paramount.


Closing the Gap: From Explanation to Understanding

And the VR exhibit of the home elevator? Virtual reality represents the next frontier in forensic analysis – one which allows investigators to recreate a scene with precision and clarity, increase focus on key facts or elements, and provide a more meaningful first-person point-of-view. ICPHSO attendees who tried out the VR simulation of the home elevator describe what it’s like seeing the elevator through the eyes of a child, climbing into the gap space, then being virtually “trapped” as the elevator begins to move.

“In the legal profession, we’re often charged with helping others understand the facts of a case,” said David Krugler, partner at Cash, Krugler & Fredericks. “The power of VR is that it transports the viewer into the environment, to see for themselves how and why an accident happened. VR turns the narrative into an experience that’s relevant and personal – one which provides a deeper level of understanding and empathy that the factfinder is not likely to forget.”

“ESi helped pioneer the use of 3D animations as cutting-edge litigation technology,” said ESi Principal Dennis Brickman. “Now we’re taking the lead in bringing VR to forensic investigation. The immersive VR environment ensures a level of realism that’s unprecedented and can help unify a legal team’s understanding of the facts and lead to better-informed decisions. Ultimately, that can translate into safer products.” 

ESi recently opened its second VR lab in Norcross, Georgia, and plans are already underway to open a third VR lab in Aurora, Illinois later this year. From simple visualizations of laser scans to complex interactive scenes, ESi offers tailored VR solutions designed to scale with the needs of a project.

The International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) is an international forum for product safety stakeholders to learn, network and share information. ESi is already working with ICPHSO on next year’s VR exhibit, so stay tuned!

About ESi

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