We love hackathons! Let’s go to HackTO! Join us.

We love hackathons at the TinEye HQ and this Saturday we will be participating in HackTO. HackTO is organized by HackDays. And HackDays = hack events across Canada. This weekend HackDays lands in Toronto with 10 API and a 100 attendees! Did you know that Toronto is the 4th best city in the world to get your startup off the ground? It is!

Why such love for hackathons? Because we can see that our entire tech and startup community benefits when awesome developers (and people) get together to hack, build and tinker. If you have not joined us at any of our hackathons, it is time to remedy that.

The idea behind HackTO is simple: a single day hackathon where developers build an application using a set of provided APIs and any other API they would like to use. Completed applications get a chance to compete for awesome prizes.

This time around, there are 10 APIs to select from including our MobileEngine and MulticolorEngine. You may already know the MulticolorEngine as Piximilar. We are launching a set of TinEye APIs in the coming weeks and of course rebranding all current APIs. So stay tuned for our next announcements and get a preview at HackTO. In the meantime:


This is the API that allows you to integrate multicolor searching for your own image database or extract colors from images in your database.

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

  • A read-only API pre-populated and loaded with 3 million Creative Commons images. You will not be able to add or delete images from this collection.
  • A blank r/w API that you can load up with any images you like.

To get a feel for the capabilities of the MulticolorEngine, visit the Idée lab.

MulticolorEngine is a REST API with responses delivered in JSON or XML 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.
  • extract_collection_colors: extract information about what colours exist within your whole collection, or a subset of it
  • add: Used to populate your image collection.
  • delete: Delete images from your collection.

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


The second API is our MobileEngine

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 HackTO this API image collections is not pre-populated which means that if you want to develop and launch 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 HackTO. Get in touch.

MobileEngine is a REST API with responses delivered in JSON or XML 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 shared collection for everyone to use, so please use a prefix for your image names 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.

Full documentation for the APIs will be provided at the start of HackTO just to keep things interesting :)

The full HackTO schedule is now online. And if the awesome TinEye APIs are not enough of a reason to get you to HackTO, how about the prizes:

  • First prize: $2,000 (cash)
  • Second prize: $1,500
  • Third prize: $500

Good luck!