When tragic events or social disorder occur, forensic investigators have a long and daunting task of reviewing countless hours of CCTV footage. Increasingly, especially at public events attended by large numbers of people carrying mobile phones with HD cameras, authorities rely on members of the public to turn in photographs and videos they have taken in the hope that they will contain useful intelligence. Much of this media is already uploaded to public sites such as Facebook and YouTube, providing another rich source of information.
Additionally, police have to review countless hours of media obtained from confiscated computer hard drives, mobile phones and portable cameras and flash memory devices.
All of this creates a significant resource burden; this footage must be watched by people. The application of face recognition technology can play a crucial role in identifying potential suspects.
An Automated Media Processing Cloud
A solution to automate the processing of this staggering amount of media to quickly and efficiently unlock actionable intelligence is required to save significant time and human capital. The ability to automate this would allow the more efficient application of resources as well as massively speed up time-critical investigations.
However, the need goes far beyond the simple application of face recognition technology.
What is needed is a server-based system that can process vast amounts of media quickly to transform files from mobile phones, flash memory devices, online sources, confiscated computers and hardrives and video surveillance systems into searchable resources. This would enable forensic investigators to work more efficiently and effectively by automatically finding, extracting and matching faces from very large collections of media to discover, document and disseminate information in real-time.
Such a powerful video and photograph processing architecture should automatically ingest, process, analyse and index hundreds of thousands of photographs and videos in a centralised repository to glean associations in a cloud environment. Instrumental would be the ability to:
- Automatically find, extract and index faces to enable the biometric and biographic searching of media.
- Create and manage watchlists of people of interest via a web-based interface.
- Find all instances of photos and videos where a person of interest has been seen.
- Quickly review and process media to identify, locate, and track persons of interest, their associates and their activities.
- Discover, document and diagramtically view associations between people of interest, their activities and networks.
- Use media meta-data to geotag video footage and watchlist hits and overlay and present on maps.
Public Facing Cloud-Service to Crowd-Source Media
Finally, a public-facing interface to such a system would enable members of the public to upload their media in a self-service manner to enable quick and ready access by the authorities to this raw data for automatic processing.
Enhance Public Safety and Reduce Budgets
This solution is now available to UK public sector on the Government Procurement Service CloudStore – G-Cloud iii Framework as a commodity from the catalogue without having to invite tenders from suppliers.