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Police Uses Lasers to Investigate Accident and Crime Scenes

The Niagara County Sheriff’s office recently started to use a 3D scanner to investigate crime scenes. Named FARO, the 3D scanner is compatible with several handheld devices.

In the past, officers had to make use of tape to delimit the perimeter that was including the key reference points at a scene. Then, the sheriff has started to use an electronic distance meter, which was able to track about 100 points at a time, significantly speeding up the process.


Today’s technology makes it much easier, though, because the 3D scanner can process hundreds of thousands of points per minute, increasing speed and – much more important – accuracy.

As it takes a full, 360-degree rotation, the scanner evaluates millions of points, which are then translated to vertices, and then recreate the 3D model of the scene. Then, you can use the generated model to look around, up and down, as if you were at the place of the accident.

The laser scanner can also be used inside vehicles, allowing the police to view the objects that may be hidden in areas that aren’t easily accessible to humans. FARO is also useful when it comes to evaluating bullet entry wounds, for example, which can’t be seen clearly under normal circumstances.


New Gadget Helps You Find That Font

If you do any design work, you know how frustrating it is to see a font that you like, but are unable to find on the web. Since most people have this problem, some merciful souls have thought about building websites that can identify fonts based on a few sample letters. And yet, this is not an ideal solution: often times, the results aren’t as accurate as we’d want them to be.


Fiona O’Leary wants to make it easier for all the designers to find that font they can’t stop thinking about. Spector, a pocket-sized phone scanner, is able to reveal the font name by comparing images with a huge font database. Spector can also analyze size, kerning and leading, allowing the designers to identify combinations of fonts and styles that work really good together. Let’s hope that this won’t make them lose their creativity juices for good, though.

Spector from Fiona O’Leary on Vimeo.


$10 Development Board Helps You Create Smart Devices

If you’ve ever wanted to build a smart gadget, the $10 Orange Pi board will be of great help. It’s the little sister (or brother) of the Raspberry Pi, if you will.


The tiny computer uses a 32-bit Cortex CPU. It includes a Wi-Fi chip, a camera interface, 2GB of RAM, 4GB of storage and runs the Ubuntu OS.

The board was announced at the Linaro Connect conference.