Blurring faces and witness protection with Amped Five

How To - Amped FIVE

Quite often, law enforcement agencies ask us to discuss “cross-discipline” applications for Amped Five.  In today’s budget challenged arena, we know that our customers have to make the case to the finance people for the utility and value of Five and this allows an opportunity to discuss the inherent flexibility of Five and how it can be used for other purposes and for other applications. Case in point: Obscuring sensitive people, information, or witnesses where privacy laws (or UC officer) are involved.

Usually the main task put in front of the forensic video analyst is to process a video or image in order to make the details like a car, face, or other fine details more visible. Since cross-disciplined tasks are becoming much more common, we see that the request can also go in the opposite direction, and the expert is asked to hide sensitive details from the video. In order to preserve the privacy of people not involved in the case, it is often needed to mask faces or license plates from videos which will be shown in courts or given to the media.

Since having this type of capability can lend some additional utility to our customers, we included tools in Amped Five to achieve this result with the filter “Hide Selection”. Since just pixilation does not work for all applications, we have given the user the flexibility to selectively darken, blur or pixelate an area of the image. The area can be static, or can follow a subject of interest along the whole video or just parts of it; as this tool works with our other tools to provide the results needed.

The tracking of the area, person, or object can be done both automatically and manually. While the automatic approach is very effective on simple object such as license plate, often for people and faces it is necessary to use the manual approach which allows a better customization of tracking and ensures accurate results that won’t compromise the privacy or sensitivity of the obscured area.

Even in our manual mode, the process is very quick and effective, as the user just needs to set the area of interest only on some frames where the motion or the subjects has a higher rate of change. The software will automatically calculate intermediate positions on the other frames.

Below you can find a quick video that show how easy is to accomplish the desired task of hiding the face of a suspicious subject from a surveillance video.

This is just another way that Amped Five provides the premier solution for law enforcement, military, or corporate use. The next time the budget discussion or team meeting comes up, you can say “Yes, and it also allows us to do this, too.  Yes, all from the same software without additional hardware or software.”  And hopefully, “Yes, they accept a purchase order and can ship out today.”

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