I’m not sure anyone could have predicted the events of 2020, but one thing we can say for sure is that it is almost done.
As this unique year draws to a close, we’d like to thank you for your readership and your desire to learn more about video evidence investigations. Video evidence is now involved in more than 80% of investigations and plays a pivotal role in our society.
To wrap up 2020, we wanted to share our top stories from this year.
1) iNPUT-ACE Partners with Axon
Back in August, iNPUT-ACE and Axon announced a partnership that will allow Axon Evidence to utilize iNPUT-ACE’s core playback and conversion engine, an API based toolset known as the Video Integration Suite (VIS). This means that Axon customers will be able to convert proprietary video files into lossless, shareable video files that provide a more complete picture of what happened in any given investigation.
Today, many video security systems use their own proprietary video format. When that video is played back with a tool or commercial software that is not compatible, the files are often played incorrectly causing misinterpretation of the video evidence. The iNPUT-ACE partnership with Axon solves this by supporting more than 93% of all video file types found in video investigations.
VIS, the API toolset, can be integrated into other cloud solutions or on-premise agency servers to enable third-party video files to be played and converted within any application.
2) Training Goes Online
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we do just about everything. When we had to cancel many of our in-person training events, we decided to take our certified training courses online.
We didn’t believe that simply watching a powerpoint was enough to earn iNPUT-ACE certifications, so our team developed an innovative online learning platform. Through this platform, we can now provide virtual access to iNPUT-ACE and actual case files for all participants in the class. This is truly a hands-on learning experience, giving students the chance to apply their learning to real world investigations.
Classes are kept small so that you can engage with your trainer, and we offer three different courses for different ability levels. Prepare yourself and your team for the growing body of video evidence, and check out our live, online training experience now.
3) Verdict Reached in Ottawa Use of Force Case
Is video a silent witness that speaks for itself? Many people tend to believe it is, but we know that this is absolutely not the case. Video evidence can be altered, and this often occurs without any actual intent to do so.
A Use of Force case that was caught on camera in Ottawa provided an excellent example. Like most surveillance video, the original file was a proprietary format that was not easy to play back. Without the proper tools, the investigator screen-captured the proprietary player and produced an inaccurate video that skipped a number of images and accelerated the perception of force. This led to public outcry and a major investigation.
In October, a judge ruled the police constable not guilty, but the media is still using the inaccurate video file. This story provides a great example of the importance of getting the original file and using a tool like iNPUT-ACE to reliably view and investigate video evidence. You can view the inaccurate video file and the accurate one for yourself in our Ottawa Use of Force story.
4) Video Evidence Training Symposium Launched
We hosted our first Video Evidence training symposium in June of 2020. Over 600 professionals attended this online event and heard from 10 different experts in the field of video investigations.
The symposium was a great success and we have already announced the 2021 Video Evidence Symposium. Mark your calendars for March 22-25, 2021 and make sure you also register for our new hands-on workshop!
If you missed the symposium last year, you can watch Grant Fredericks’ session in the video below. You can also gain access to the recordings of the 2020 Symposium.
5) Kelly-Frye, Daubert, Mohan, and Why You Need to Understand These Cases
Perhaps our most popular blog post this year was about the impact of these three cases on investigations involving video evidence. In our line of work, it is common to hear comments regarding Kelly-Frye, Daubert, and Mohan challenges, and our iNPUT-ACE users frequently ask us what these references mean in regard to legal challenges of video evidence.
The story takes a look at several actual cases and provides the background and context for the decisions that were made. Learn more about Kelly-Frye, Daubert, Mohan to understand the challenges that forensic video analysts and others will experience in court.
6) New Release: iNPUT-ACE version 2.6 and 2.6.1
The development team at iNPUT-ACE continues to innovate when it comes to video evidence software. In June, we introduced a major release to the world of video investigations with iA Version 2.6.
With development decisions led by customer conversations and use cases, we created a completely new playback experience, added 75+ new video formats, introduced an API for third-party integrations, and much more.
Development continued throughout the year, and in October we released iNPUT-ACE version 2.6.1. This version includes additional improvements to the date/time offset feature, the ability to correct for half resolution DVR formats with the click of a single button, support for new file formats, and much more.
7) Emergency Work-at-Home Licenses
Things escalated pretty quickly in March. Stay-at-home orders went out across the country and within a couple days, everything got shut down.
Many investigators were asked to work from home and needed access to iNPUT-ACE software to complete their video investigations. Our team knew the importance of staying safe at home but also continuing the vital investigations occurring across the country. We provided free licenses to anyone who was required to conduct video investigations remotely.
2020 was a year that required endurance, flexibility, collaboration, and grit. We hope you and your family have stayed healthy, and, as your partners in video evidence, we look forward to growing and continuing to work together in 2021!