We're all familiar with crime shows such as CSI and Bones. They give us a snapshot look at what crime scene investigation involves. What they don't show is the effect a crime scene can have on a home or business, or how much effort goes into the cleaning of a crime scene.
Crime scenes can be hazardous areas to be in. Blood borne pathogens in particular present a considerable risk, with the possibility of cleaners being infected for life. Viruses, bacteria, and diseases all also present possible risks when dealing with a crime scene clean-up. As a result, a crime scene clean-up should only be undertaken by professionals. It is with this in mind that Crime Scene Cleanup have started to develop a virtual reality crime scene cleanup game called Safeguard to educate users to the risk of crime scene cleaning.
What Does Crime Scene Cleaning Involve?
Crime scene clean-up (CSC) refers to the clean-up of blood, bodily fluids, and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). Often required for accidents, suicides, homicides, and decomposition after death, CSC's fulfils a dual role: to return a crime scene to a safe and habitable state, and to reduce the contact that untrained individuals have with potentially harmful environments.
CSC aims at removing any potential hazards from an environment through rigorous cleaning and attention to detail. The difference between a CSC company and a regular cleaning company – such as one you might hire to clean up after a particularly wild party – is the legality involved in the handling and removal of biohazard material.
There is also a human aspect to the service companies such as Crime Scene Cleanup provide. In most of the situations their services are required for, an individual or family has lost someone close to them. During a time of great stress and grieving no one would want to deal with cleaning up after the incident that has caused them such great pain. Crime Scene Cleanup removes that task from their life, allowing them to focus on other necessities.
What Crime Scene Cleanup Can Show Us About CSC Through VR
Crime Scene Cleanup's aim for developing a VR (Virtual reality) experience is to educate the general population as to what goes into a CSC. It highlights all aspects of a routine cleaning. Users will learn what goes into a professional CSC as well as the hazards, making it clear why you should hire a professional and avoid risk at all costs.
By making the experience immersive and interactive, Crime Scene Cleanup can fully communicate the entire experience to a user. Involving users in the task mean they are more likely to take the information on board and remember the details of the task at hand.
VR technology is advancing at an incredible pace. In an age where smartphones can come with "VR packs" to turn them into portable personal VR devices, overlooking the importance of VR and associated marketing techniques is potentially a huge error. Constatine Chutis, marketing and media manager for Crime Scene Cleanup, says "Every aspect of promotion and advertising we do is based on the internet and technology. As new tech comes out, we want to be the first company is our industry to use it to our advantage."
Inside the Game
Safeguard starts off by putting a user in the eyes of a crime scene cleanup specialist as they explore the warehouse which stores all of the CSC facilities. They are able to interact with objects, learning more about the tools, chemicals, and equipment that is used in CSC on a daily basis. Currently, all information is presented as text pop-ups in 3D space. The aim is to implement professional voice overs as the timeline of the project advances.
After the warehouse, users have the option of travelling to the scene of an incident at a lounge. They are able to explore freely before entering the room where the incident occurred. Inside the room are a variety of interactive objects that relate to CSC and its principles and practices. Here they can assess the situation through the eyes of a CSC professional, seeing what they would see in the real world. This is a new and innovative way of educating otherwise unknowledgeable people in the area of CSC.
The Future of Edu-Marketing
While marketing has traditionally been about selling a product or service whether the potential customer is knowledgeable about it or not, modern marketing has moved towards getting the customer to fully understand what it is they are buying. This ensures that products reach the right audience, reducing complaints and increasing repeat business.
By taking up VR as a marketing tool to educate the general populace, Crime Scene Cleanup are at the very cutting edge of this trend. It shows wisdom and business acumen, something you definitely want to see from a company known for its quality handling of biohazardous material. With luck, other companies will follow suit, validating Crime Scene Cleanup's choice of marketing tool and opening up an area of marketing which will benefit both the business and the customer.