While other search engines use words â€“ captions, filenames and keywords â€“ to search for images, Tineye.comâ€™s search method is image-based, it uses the images themselves. Tineye does for images what Google does for text; but it looks at the pixels, not text.
Tineye creates a digital fingerprint each time you upload a file or a URL for the file. Afterwards, it can tell you where that image is reproduced or used across the Internet. You can still find your image even if other people have cropped or edited it using image editors.
According to IdÃ©e Inc. CEO Leila Boujnane, Tineye is a search engine first and foremost. It is not policing the web for copyright infractions: it is simply crawling the web for identical and very similar images.
The Tineye technology is already being used by companies such as Adobe, Associated Press and Digg.com.