Hackathon events give developers an opportunity to showcase their creativity and build new apps that are completely separate from their day-to-day jobs or responsibilities. For 24 hours straight, they work on designing, developing, and coding a new idea to bring it to life.

These kinds of hackathons are a tradition at Shutterstock, and we also participate in hack days in different cities where developers from any company can join in. This past weekend, Shutterstock took part in Photo Hack Day NYC, a 24-hour marathon of coding image-related applications, hosted by Aviary.

Our own Chris Becker, senior search engineer at Shutterstock, gave the keynote for the event, after which the hacking began! Below, you’ll find our 4 favorite apps created during this year’s Photo Hack Day NYC, along with info on how participants used Shutterstock technology to solve problems and create new experiences.

Emotion recognition

We liked this one so much that it won Best Shutterstock Hack at the event. Using Computer Vision technology, SmartPik scans Shutterstock images to identify the emotion in a photo with the goal of creating a better image-search experience.

It extracts image features, detects the emotion, and makes sure the image has that emotion in its description for easier searching.

Above is an example of how the app found an image in the Shutterstock collection that didn’t have an emotion specified, then automatically added it.

Developed by Jacob Sniff, Research Fellow at Harvard University; Ny Vo, marketing consultant and UX designer; and Elizabeth Sanz from Time, Inc.

Search Shutterstock using an Adobe color swatch

This team merged Adobe and Shutterstock technology together to create an awesome color search app.

Using a smartphone, you can point your camera at anything, and it will gather and store the colors from the image into a library. Then, through ColorStock, you can take that group of colors (up to 5 at once) and search the Shutterstock collection for related images and color palettes.

The team used Shutterstock’s Palette search and the AdobeColor phone app to make this happen. This tool has great applications for the creative process: with the app, designers can store the colors they see around them, then search for images based on those colors for any project.

Developed by Gary Cohen and Dave Pond from Adobe.

Learn a new language, one photo at a time

Flibberish is a mobile app that lets you learn French, Spanish, or Italian with the help of Shutterstock images and Twilio’s mobile-messaging API.

Pick your language, enter your cell-phone number, and Flibberish will message you regularly with new lessons or quizzes, alternating between teaching you new words with the aid of images and quizzing you on past words.

Developed by Nir Zicherman from Aviary.

The “Tinder app” for image selection

The process of organizing and editing images can be a daunting one. Pik lets you sift through hundred or thousands of images for a given project by using a Tinder-style interface, where you simply click “Yes” or “No” and the application stores your preferences.

This can be done across multiple projects or folders, so that you only keep what you actually intend to use.

Then, once you have a group of images selected for a project, you can share the image list with others or purchase the images from Shutterstock for use in your project.

Developed by Matt Glueckert and Christian Saide from GlobalEdit.

As a next step, we hope to see some of these app prototypes become a reality! And if you’re looking to build your own apps with Shutterstock, check out our API at https://developers.shutterstock.com.

Big thanks to Aviary for a great event. We’re already looking forward to seeing what comes out of next year’s Photo Hack Day!