CEO of New Augmented Reality App Says It Will 'Democratise Solving Crime'
14:59 GMT 01.10.2021 (Updated: 13:02 GMT 01.03.2022)
© Photo : CrimedoorA scene from Crimedoor's reconstruction of the murder of Tupac Shakur
© Photo : Crimedoor
Augmented reality is booming and experts predict the industry could be worth £122 billion by 2024. One of the latest apps on the market gives the user the opportunity to walk through dozens of famous crime scenes.
True crime is a burgeoning market and the genre’s growing popularity has led to a surge in podcasts, documentaries and other products.
Last weekend Britain hosted its first Crimecon convention, borrowing a franchise which has been hugely successful in the United States.
But Neil Mandt, CEO and co-founder of CrimeDoor, said: “Until now there’s never been anywhere where true crime content was curated. So we decided to do that.”
So if you want to know all there is to know about the murder of OJ Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldman, or the Black Dahlia case or Jack The Ripper, you can find it all curated in one place on CrimeDoor.
Mr Mandt, an Emmy-winning Hollywood producer and director, and his wife Lauren, whose background is in marketing, launched CrimeDoor in January this year.
“We paid £1,000 for an ad on TikTok and we got 60,000 downloads overnight,” he told Sputnik.
While the app is downloaded for free on iOS and Android, the premium content which comprises of the crime scene walk-throughs costs users US$4.99.
The 50 crime scenes range from Abraham Lincoln’s deathbed and the street corner in Las Vegas where rapper Tupac Shakur was gunned down in 1996, to the gay pub in London’s Soho district where nail bomber David Copeland caused carnage in 1999.
© Photo : CrimeDoorAbraham Lincoln on his deathbed
Abraham Lincoln on his deathbed
© Photo : CrimeDoor
Mr Mandt believes the premium content is value for money and he is confident the app will be a hit worldwide: “We launched in the US already but we have cases in the UK and other parts of Europe and soon we will be in Asia, Africa and South America too.”
He thinks one of the app’s biggest opportunities for growth is by creating partnerships with true crime podcasts, magazines and other media outlets.
“You could be listening to a true crime podcast and taking a walk through the crime scene on our app at the same time,” Mr Mandt told Sputnik.
But he insists he is not glamorising crime or seeking to profit from it and says he is most passionate about using augmented reality to solve unsolved crimes and finding missing people.
Mr Mandt said: “CrimeDoor does not celebrate killers but gives a voice to the victims. The focus is on unsolved murders and missing persons. New cases and content is added on a daily basis to raise awareness and quite possibly bring justice for those who can no longer speak for themselves.”
He told Sputnik: “We have democratised crime solving. It democratises the whole process. Everyone can have a go at solving these unsolved crimes.”
Mr Mandt said: “It is not just my hope, it is my expectation that CrimeDoor will solve some of these cases. It could be as significant as DNA. Some of the detectives we have spoken to say it will 100 percent lead to cases being solved. One particular case which has been unsolved for years is just about to be reopened because of our computer walk-through.”