Evidence Technology Magazine features ALIAS 3D future of forensic ballistics

We were thrilled to be featured in the AFTE Journal in an article entitled, Portable Forensic Ballistics Examination Instrument: Advanced Ballistics Analysis System (ALIAS), (Volume 43, Number 1 – Winter 2011). The Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners (AFTE) has been a world authority in our field since its inception in 1969. And it was truly an honour to have ALIAS accepted in the organization’s journal.

Today, the Pyramidal Technologies team is equally thrilled that Evidence Technology Magazine, the first trade publication in the United States focused exclusively on evidence collection, processing, and preservation, has devoted a cover story to ALIAS in its current issue. The story also mentions ALIAS’s primary competitor IBIS, the previous generation of forensic ballistics technology that I helped create in the early 90s.

The cover story by Dale Garrison, starts by accurately stating that:

“Ballistics analysis is realizing a technological shift that offers new advances for law-enforcement professionals. Some of the new technology may seem like imaging technology for cartridge cases and bullets, with an interface so sleek and sophisticated that it looks like it might have been lifted straight from the often-exaggerated world of television crime shows. 

By utilizing 3D imagery for the forensic comparison of bullets and cartridge cases provides specific advantages that reach well beyond an attractive image on a computer’s monitor. Two-dimensional images are essentially are essentially photographs, often black and white, with a distinct limit of detail. Even if the photos are taken with the help of a comparison microscope, they are flat images that only represent a fraction of a multi-dimensional reality. Two-dimensional images are subject to the limits of visible light and what the human eye can see. The latest three-dimensional renderings are more like an incredibly accurate GPS mapping of an object’s surface, and the mathematical model can be viewed from many perspectives.”

As I say later in the article, “If you think of Sherlock Holmes with a magnifying glass, what if one day someone gave him a microscope? All of a sudden, he would be seeing remarkable details that he didn’t even know were there before.”

Another important point in Dale’s article covers ALIAS’s open software architecture that makes it possible for other developers to add new 3D algorithms to the ones created at Pyramidal Technologies. As Apple has shown with its amazing developer ecosystem around the iPhone and iPad, if someone outside the company has a way to make our technology even better, we welcome that improvement.”

As I also state in the story, “We see this product as never being finished. It is going to continue to evolve.”

I urge you to read the full Evidence Technology Magazine article by clicking here. In it you will also learn that two years after our launch in Germany at the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI) Expert Working Group Firearms and Gunshot Residue (GSR) meeting, we have imminent ALIAS installations to announce for law enforcement agencies in both North and South America. Watch this space for that exciting news. 2011 is going to be a fantastic year as ALIAS fulfills its potential to solve more crimes, convict more criminals, and save more lives.

(Mike Barrett is President & CEO of Pyramidal Technologies Inc., makers of ALIAS, the next generation in forensic ballistics.)