Results of First Amped Software Survey

As we are always working to be active in innovating and creating new products, understanding the needs of our customers and being responsive to their needs is equally as important as the scientific study involved in creating new solutions. We are always looking for ways to improve our products, develop new technologies, and improve the way we do business. To truly understand what works and what is missing in our products and market strategy, feedback is vital for us to respond to our customer’s problems that we are helping them to overcome.

At the beginning of this month, we launched a survey. This survey was very popular with significantly more responses than we expected, and it provided very interesting insights on our user’s needs.

Those who completed the survey also had the chance of winning one free VideoScanner tool. The drawing was held on June 15th and the lucky winner was Mr. Scott Scriven from Salt Lake City Police Department, Salt Lake City, Utah (USA). Congratulations, Scott, now you have an additional tool in your toolbox!

Here are some highlights of some of the results of the survey. If you have completed it, you will notice that the field values have been changed a little to accommodate the number of write-in responses with a similar meaning or theme. 

1. If you tested Amped Five trial or asked information about it: Did you buy it? If not, what is the main reason?

I bought it

19%

It’s too expensive for our budget

40%

I am waiting for the purchasing department to buy it / No money left in our budget

12%

I need more training to use it

9%

Didn’t have time to test it yet

6%

Features and performances do not match my expectations

4%

Undecided / Need more testing time

4%

It’s too difficult to use

2%

Other

4%

Comment: It looks like the features and usability of the software are considered to be pretty good. The main reasons against the purchase are related to the current budget problems that most agencies are facing worldwide. It must be understood however, that a specialized software application like ours will not have a wide number of users like a general purpose tool (i.e. Photoshop) so we cannot price it at a comparable price to cheap commercial software that offers fewer or less specialized features. We had several comments asking us to price the product like Photoshop, but this isn’t possible to do as the business will not be sustainable with such level of pricing. If you compare Five to other specialized products, you will find out that it offer the best value both in relative and absolute terms. Five has the widest number of features and the lowest price and does not require some expensive to own hardware or additional software suites to function. We designed Five from the ground-up for forensic investigations use and it does not require third part hardware, bloated media composers, or repurposed creative photo editing software to work. There are all and only the functions to get your job done.

2. What are the main software products that you use for image and video analysis, if any?

None

23%

An astounding 23% percent of potential users don’t use any tool for image and video analysis. The other answers have been very different, most of responders use more than one tool and most of them Photoshop. Less than half of the responders use specialized software for forensic image and video enhancement. If you don’t have any tools in the toolbox, getting the job done is impossible.

3. Are you interested in software for digital image authentication (tools to inspect a digital image and detect manipulation)?

Yes

51%

Depends on price/current agency budget

45%

No

4%

This is clearly becoming a hot topic. And we will give you soon a comprehensive, scientifically documentable solution.

4. What software do you use for image authentication, if any?

None

77%

Most of the responders are interested in image authentication but don’t do anything at all now. The other answers are mostly related to general image processing software like Photoshop, which is not appropriate for authentication of images as there is little scientific merit there. Very few people use some other image authentication software.

5. Are you interested in software for audio authentication (tools for audio manipulation/edit detection)

Yes

45%

Depends on price/current agency budget

34%

No

21%

We do image and video analysis. Why did we ask this question? We are planning some long term research in related fields, and audio authentication is one of the commonly requested tools from our advanced users. It is also one of the more viable ideas for development that is applicable or adaptable to law enforcement needs. It looks like this topic is also going to become a hot one.

6. What software do you use for audio authentication, if any?

None

81%

Also here very little is available on the market and most of the people don’t use any tool for audio authentication. Those who do it, are doing it “by hand” with the help of audio processing software.

7. Would you buy a Mac version of our products if it was available?

Yes

34%

No

66%

If you have followed us for a long time, you may be one of the lucky guys who tested an old beta of Amped Five for Mac, a few years ago. Different priorities have postponed indefinitely the launch of such product, but current percentages are quite higher than expected and my drive our next developments in a different direction. The other issue is the practical problems of working with surveillance video and proprietary codecs. Most Windows based proprietary codecs barely work in Windows, so to hope they work on a Mac is probably not practical. Windows on a Mac with Five is a marriage made in heaven, though. A Mac’s hardware spec is hard to top for the money!

We want to thank again all those who gave us their time to complete the survey. I hope the results of the survey will be useful to you, like have been useful to us. Please remember that we are always available to listen as we value your input and value solving your problems with better tools. All of our products and features inside them are the result of needs found in real forensic work and requests from user like you, and as long as you need solutions, we will continue to innovate.

If you have suggestions, criticism, requests, or ideas for new products we are always available to listen. Contact us.