How to Record Augmented Reality Legal Evidence

Audits and Official Inspections | Virtual Reality

Digital evidence can be faked. One way to enhance the reliability of digital evidence is to have a responsible person attest to its creation and authenticity.

Real-time narration bears witness to the truth.

This video demonstrates the recording of evidence from augmented reality.


The video records “reality,” which is the footage captured with the back camera on a smartphone as the inspector walks. The reality is “augmented” with information that is superimposed over the footage. Here the augmenting information includes compass and geolocation data that change as the inspector walks.

The video could constitute legal or audit evidence showing precisely what happened as the inspector moved about a certain parcel of land. The evidence might be used in a court of law or other official proceeding, or it might be used to support tax or financial statements. 

The video might show, for example, that the inspector encountered a "no trespassing" sign in the augmented environment.

It might show he accepted or rejected legal terms and conditions (like an end-user license agreement or EULA).

Alternatively, it might be used to show how the compass app functioned (or malfunctioned) or used intellectual property such as trademarks or copyrighted images.

Legal affidavit makes record more credible.

The lower left-hand corner of the video displays real-time footage from the phone’s front camera. It shows the inspector narrating the record, explaining what is happening step-by-step. The video also records audio of his voice as he talks and walks.

The inspector takes these measures to authenticate the video:
  • shows his face with his moving lips as he narrates,
  • identifies himself,
  • identifies the technology he is using,
  • describes the data as it appears on the screen of his phone,
  • closes by formally signing the video with these words recorded in both the audio and the small video window on the lower left corner: “I Ben Wright hereby sign and affirm this record as my official work.”,
  • vocalizes the date and time.

In effect the audio and video of the inspector constitute a legal affidavit confirming the augmented reality record. The investigator is placing his professional reputation behind the evidence depicted in the video.

Something similar could be done with a record of virtual reality or other immersive environment.

Augmented reality can entail more than audio and visual feedback.

Augmented reality could provide haptic feedback. So for example as the inspector walks, his smartphone could vibrate. The visual video record might not capture this vibration. However, the inspector could describe it in his vocal narration of events.

A pattern of ominous vibrations might signal danger or no trespassing. A calm vibration might signal approval or "thank you".

Augmented and virtual reality could (someday) even provide smell and taste feedback, which the inspector could describe vocally in a record like the video above.

More on this topic

For more analysis of these ideas, please see : Attestation of record captured from website

See related ideas on legal records made by robots and cyborgs and how to record legal evidence from mixed reality.

I would be pleased to hear comments.

-Benjamin Wright

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