TinEye sponsoring HackVAN with their APIs

The original mastermind behind HackDays is Leila Boujnane, CEO of Idée. Their main product is the TinEye reverse image search engine.

TinEye is providing 2 APIs to HackVAN: MobileEngine and MulticolorEngine (formally know as PixMatch and Piximilar). These two APIs are image recognition based APIs which allow searching by images.


MobileEngine uses mobile variants of the same algorithms that power TinEye. MobileEngine is designed to find a match for mobile phone picture in a collection of original/target images. It can find duplicate and altered versions of images using fingerprint based searching algorithms. It can find images that have been cropped, resized, rotated, flipped, obscured, blurred etc.

Some examples of use are to match a book cover to a collection of covers. Same with CDs & DVDs, stamps, currency etc. It works with rigid flat objects but not 3D soft objects like clothing, fruit or family pets!

The MobileEngine API can be integrated with any mobile application. For HackVan this API image collections is not pre-populated which means that if you want to develop and launch an a mobile image search application integrated with this API, you will need to create a database of images for your search. The TinEye team and their documentation can assist you with that prior to the start of HackVa

MobileEngine is delivered over HTTP as a REST API with responses delivered in JSON format. Each operation is completely atomic, meaning that given a request, other requests will wait for the first request to complete before they are processed.

All responses from the API will have these keys:

  • status: indicates the status of the request, can be one of ok, warn, fail
  • method: the method that was called
  • result: list of results for the method
  • error: list of errors from the API

The main methods for MobileEngine are:

  • add: Used to populate your collection. There is one collection for everyone so please use a prefix with your images if you want to make sure that they will not be overwritten.
  • search: Used to search against your collection and returns matches. Optional search parameters are min score, max number of matches and horizontal flip.
  • delete: Delete images from your collection by passing a filename.
  • list: Lists the images in your collection

Here is a sample call you can make from a browser: http://mobileengine.tineye.com/hackdays/rest/count/?pretty=true

Questions or problems? Email us! support@tineye.com


MulticolorEngine searches an image collection using one or more colors. TinEye will be providing a two APIs for the MulticolorEngine:

To get a feel for the capabilities of the MulticolorEngine, visit the Idée lab: http://labs.ideeinc.com/multicolr/

MulticolorEngine is also delivered over HTTP as a REST API with responses delivered in JSON format.

The main methods are:

  • color_search: Used to perform a color searches against the collection and return any matches with scores. You can specify up to 5 colours with weights in RGB or hex format.
  • extract_colors: Given an image, extract up to 10 colours and their dominance.

MulticolorEngine also supports full meta-data searching but we’re recommending you not to get into this unless you really need to – it is still in beta!

Here is a sample call:

You can view and display your collection and query images using URLs listed in the API. E.g. http://multicolorengine.tineye.com/hackdays_flickr/collection/?filepath=100227747.jpg

Looking forward to what you guys will be building with the MulticolorEngine!

Questions or problems? Email us! support@tineye.com

21 Mar 2012, 4:28pm
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