The Italian company that trains US investigators

by time news

AGI – Behind the images of a surveillance camera or in the filming of a news story made with a smartphone, crucial details can be hidden in the reconstruction of the facts, in identifying a culprit or in exonerating an innocent. But videos and photos don’t always have the gift of clarity. To complicate matters, there is the manipulation of films and images, which can deceive and distort reality. How much can we trust visual sources? What if a person’s future depended on a video?

The numbers of the market

There are technologies and experts capable of extracting even poor details of crucial importance from videos and verifying their authenticity, beyond any reasonable doubt. We are talking about forensic video analysis. The industry is part of the broader Digital Forensic markets (analysis of digital data for evidential purposes). According to a report published in early 2021 in Values ​​Reports, the market value of Digital Forensics is estimated at $ 5.2 billion by 2026 (4.7 by 2020), with an annual growth rate of 9%.

Forensic video analysis is handled by Amped Software, an Italian company founded and led by Martino Jerian, a 41-year-old engineer from Trieste: The company develops image and video processing technologies for forensic, investigative, public security and intelligence use. Amped Software was born in Trieste in 2008, in the wake of Jerian’s thesis in electronic engineering (carried out in collaboration with the RIS of Parma in 2005), accelerated by Area Science Park (in 2007 they were chosen by their first-mile incubator, “The Innovation Factory”), and then grown to open an office in the United States, in 2019. “We are based in Brooklyn, New York,” says Martino Jerian.

Beyond the visible

Forensic video analysis is the analysis of images and videos “for the purpose of use in the judicial and investigative fields,” he explains. From the analysis of a movie you can get “a lot of information, but it can also be misleading if you fail to analyze it in the right way”.

The forensic analysis of images and videos “means going beyond what is perceived visually and instinctively”. Let’s think about how much the artifacts and infrared cameras affect “there is a risk of misleading investigations”. The analysis deals not only with the reliability of the images but also with the evaluation of the context. “Real photos, but attributed to another event”.

Among the support products for investigations and trials (especially on cases of terrorism, robberies, murders and child abuse), made available to the police by Amped, there are also: FIVE, which stands for Forensic Image and Video Enhancement, a tool used by experienced personnel that sharpens video images and helps law enforcement to solve the most complex cases. “Replay”, a tool with simpler functions that allows a first analysis even by unskilled personnel. “Authenticate”, which confirms if the images have been manipulated or if they are original. And “DVRConv”, a universal converter for video surveillance systems.

Case resolution

Yeah, but how much does forensic video analysis affect case resolution? Jerian has no doubts: “A lot. Several studies have shown that video sources are the ones that allow you to get the best results. There is no more complete source of evidenceto. Because they are everywhere ”and because a film allows you to answer the right questions: time, date, time, who, how, when, where. “Let’s think of the mobile phone, one of the most important investigative sources”.

The choice to open an overseas office is linked to a context in which video forensic analysis has the best conditions to be applied and developed. To date, “around 30% of Amped Software’s total revenue comes from the United States. In 2020 the Italian company had a turnover of 2.8 million euros, the American one 1.2 million dollars, with an overall average annual growth of the last 5 years of 30% “.

Jerian explains, “In the United States, especially in North America and Canada, video and image forensics are done locally, while in most European countries it is mostly centralized.” Not just a difference in terms of fluidity of decisions, payments and speed of verification processes. “This activity on the territory allows us to greatly facilitate the police”. Elsewhere centralization and bureaucracy require “more work than the technical aspect” and often these workshops “are overworked”. These are characteristics that make the American market interesting also from the point of view of training. Since the founding of the US company, Amped has not only sold or renewed more than 1,000 licenses, but has also trained 250 people.

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