·.·. Computer forensics software made in Germany .·.·


Photo Analysis with Artificial Intelligence


Excire PhotoAI is a separate module usable in X-Ways Forensics and X-Ways Investigator based on technology developed by Pattern Recognition Company GmbH, a German AI firm started in 2005 as a spin-off of the University of Lübeck. PRC has an excellent team of computer scientists with extensive expertise in machine learning, neural networks, and computer vision.

Excire PhotoAI currently provides these three distinct powerful capabilities in our software:

  • It automatically analyzes photos and recognizes image content, objects like specific kinds buildings, vehicles, animals, and plants, beaches, mountains, people of different ages, nudity and pornography, guns, drugs, text, ... (complete list). It also detects color themes and general photo properties, which are all described as keywords. You can focus on photos with particular relevant keywords (combined with AND or OR) or filter out photos with irrelevant keywords.

  • It allows you to find photos that are “similar” from the perspective of an artificial intelligence to a collection of typical relevant photos from earlier cases or other photos that you provide (in JPEG, PNG, Bitmap, or TIFF format).

  • It allows you to find faces of particular people in photos of new cases. (The application will require you to mark faces of interest in JPEG, PNG, Bitmap, or TIFF pictures.)

X-Ways Forensics processes pictures with Excire PhotoAI in one of the following formats: JPEG, PNG, Bitmap, TIFF, non-animated WEBP, GIF, (from v20.6) HEIC. In v20.5 if they have a minimum resolution of 224×224 pixels, in v20.6 even small thumbnails.

Of great benefit for forensic investigators is that Excire PhotoAI works completely offline. Everything happens on your own machine. You don't need to trust any cloud service to which you would have to upload photos. No Internet connection is required*. That is just like you know it from X-Ways Forensics. *An Internet connection is required once when you acquire your licenses, and for that you could use a different computer. An Internet connection is also required when using trial licenses.

The overall integration in X-Ways Forensics is seamless. You use the same operations as always (volume snapshot refinement) and the same filters that you already know (for report table associations or comments or metadata), and the results are stored in the volume snapshot or in evidence file containers. You can assign special cell colors in the directory browser to photos with keywords that are of particular interest to you. A video that showcases the use of Excire PhotoAI in X-Ways Forensics can be found here.

Pictures can be automatically categorized as irrelevant or notable. In the extensive hierarchy of identifiable objects you can select individual objects or entire subtrees that render a picture irrelevant from your point of view with a high degree of certainty, such as any kinds of animals, plants, sports, musical instruments etc. You can also define what renders a picture notable for you, such as nudity ("act"), children, vehicles, text etc. "Notable" always overrides "irrelevant" when in doubt, if for example dogs are considered as important in a particular case, but animals otherwise are still marked as irrelevant. Logical AND combinations are supported when categorizing photos as notable. Some AND combinations are predefined that are meant to assist in child pornography investigations.

Keywords that describe photos are available in these languages: English, German, French, Spanish and Italian.

Existing users of X-Ways Forensics with access to updates can retrieve instructions for free trial licenses from here at any time or contact us at sales@x-ways.com. For prices please check here.


Technicalities (must read before order!)

Platform requirement: 64-bit Windows 10, Windows 11, Windows Server 2016, or Windows Server 2019 with X-Ways Forensics or X-Ways Investigator 20.5. Licenses will be tied to either your regular dongle, to your network dongle (you need to buy the same number of licenses for Excire as the number of simultaneous users supported by your network dongle!), to your BYOD license ID, or to your X-Ways Investigator license file, and are not exchangeable. Each order will be checked by X-Ways before you receive further instructions to download and unlock the software. You can choose the start date of the 1-year period of your license when you retrieve your Excire license file (start must be within 3 months from your order).

For owners of non-perpetual licenses for X-Ways Forensics: Please note that if your license for X-Ways Forensics expires earlier than your license for Excire, you need to renew your existing license for X-Ways Forensics. (A new/different license will not help you because your license for Excire is tied to the license that you had before.)

For users of X-Ways Investigator: Please note that your license file for X-Ways Investigator must remain the same for the whole Excire license period because the Excire license file is tied to it! That means it is not recommendable to upgrade your license for X-Ways Investigator during that time.