Advances in Forensic Technology: 2016 Year in Review


With every passing year, new advances in forensic technology enable criminal investigators and laboratory examiners to detect, compare and identify more evidence than ever before.

However, while ‘experimental’ break-through technologies may be making national headlines, it is more often the evolution and refinement of existing technologies that provide the real-world advances most likely to lead to genuine breakthroughs in justice.

Here we take a look at some of the advances in technology, made during the past year, that have already earned themselves a place in the forensic examiners toolbox.


New Foster + Freeman Products in 2016
VSC8000 QDE Workstation
DCS 5 Fingerprint Capture System
fpNatural 2 NIR-NIR fingerprint powder
Crime-lite 82L UV linear light source
Crime-lite IR Search Kit


Popular Forensics News in 2016
Wildlife Forensics Applications
Fingerprint Experts: Are you ready for polymer banknotes?
New Banknote Introduces State of the Art Security Features
NIR-NIR Fingerprint Powder Reveals High Contrast Fingerprints

Top Tweets in 2016
A Great First Day at F+F Hosted UK Fingermark Seminar
Meeting Police Chiefs & #forensic experts from 59 countries at the 85th Interpol General Assembly being held in Bali this week #INTERPOLGA
Examining the #newfiver a polymer banknote that introduces state-of-the-art security #boe
Its #WorldPhotoDay & we're photographing evidence using the DCS5 fingerprint imaging system


Follow us on Twitter



Live Infrared Imaging 

While infrared photography in itself may not be a new development (investigators have been using cameras loaded with IR film to photograph evidence such as gunshot residue for years), the ability to search a crime scene with real-time IR imaging is a significant breakthrough.

Using the Foster + Freeman Infrared Search Kit, comprising IR light source with UV-Vis-IR sensitive camera mounted onto a tablet computer worn around the neck with a lightweight harness, the examiner is able to search a scene in the infrared spectrum, quickly scanning the camera across evidence, with results displayed onscreen.

Find out more


ISO 'Accreditation-Ready' Instruments

ASCLD/LAB accreditation and ISO-compliance are a major priority for crime lab directors across the US. Safeguarding standards and formalising laboratory procedures; accreditation is a vital, but time consuming, process.

To ensure accurate and repeatable results, and to assist with the accreditation process, the current generation of Foster + Freeman products are being designed to include on-board calibration tools and automated diagnostic tools.

Find out more


Remote Document Examination

A new concept in Questioned Document Examination, Remote Document Examination is a process that allows ultra-high-resolution images of documents to be transmitted to any remote location for interrogation by an experienced document examiner, with an appropriate system.

By recording images at such a high quality, the remote examiner can zoom in and scroll around the image at any magnification and with no loss of resolution for closer examination.

With the appropriate software, the remote examiner can display the questioned document image, side by side, with that of an authentic document retrieved from a database for close comparison.

Find out more


NIR-NIR Fluorescent Fingerprint Powders

A new generation of NIR-NIR Fluorescent Fingerprint Powders are enabling examiners to reveal high contrast finger marks on a wide range of 'challenging' backgrounds.

NIR-NIR powders fluoresce in the near-infrared region of the spectrum (where the majority of background interference is suppressed) and produce bright, clear fingerprints with excellent ridge detail visible through an IR sensitive camera.

Find out more