Indico Systems moves hardware out of interview rooms with WebRTC

Indico Systems moves hardware out of interview rooms with WebRTC

Based in Norway, Indico Systems develops specialized interrogation recording systems in use by many of the worlds largest police organizations such as the Australian Federal Police, Greater Manchester Police, West Midlands Police and the Metropolitan Police Service (which most of us know from movies as Scotland Yard).

We had a conversation with Andrey Kravtsov, the company’s CTO, who runs software development in the company’s development center in Tallinn.

The company was started in 2006 with a project for the Norwegian Police Service, who needed a better way to record interviews with suspects, victims and witnesses. Today, Indico’s product is an integrated client-server solution designed to be extremely intuitive in operation. As soon as the interview is over, it is automatically uploaded to the server where it becomes searchable and accessible from any authorized workplace, even located in another city.

Live streaming of the process is also available, which saves organizations time and money and leads to making decisions faster.

Our product saves a lot of time and resources within police organizations. It makes them more productive in their work. With older systems it’s really difficult to find and access an archive recording—in our product it is just 2 clicks: you can edit, export or prepare a presentation for court.

Reliability is key to the product’s operation. Data loss is unacceptable since there’s no way to repeat an interrogation — because of this Andrey’s team devotes extra attention to testing their product. In case there is a problem, the software makes sure the user is urgently notified about it.

The early version of the product was based on DirectShow and was already using some filters from Medialooks. About 3–4 years ago Indico moved their development to MPlatform SDK.

Moving from DirectShow to MPlatform has made our work simpler and increased our productivity. Working with DirectShow required knowledge that only 2 people in our company had. Now I can assign a task to someone who doesn’t have this specific knowledge. You still need to understand the SDK, but it is much easier to learn.

Andrey’s team was surprised with how flexible the SDK is and has deeply integrated our product into their solution—using it not only for recording content, but for live streaming as well.

We use the SDK to a high degree, we use a lot of the features in the SDK. We probably use 80% of the capabilities.

One particular feature is growing files playback: during the interview one can seek to and play an earlier section of the interview while still recording into the same file.

A major improvement has been added to the latest release of the recording system: using WebRTC, Indico implemented a web-based interface to control the recorder. Previously, a box with the recording software had to be installed in every interrogation room. With this new update, the recording hardware can be installed in a dedicated room (with proper security, power management and cooling) and serve multiple rooms equipped with IP cameras and microphones. WebRTC delivers low latency preview to the browser used by the interrogator to start and stop the recording.

It’s good, reliable, functional, flexible. We have grown to be very happy about it.

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