Full Scan Support for United Arab Emirates (UAE) ID/Residence Cards

The PixLab Document Scanner, development team is pleased to announce that is now fully support scanning Emirates (UAE) ID & Residence Cards via the /DOCSCAN API endpoint at real-time using your favorite programming language.

When invoked, the /DOCSCAN HTTP API endpoint shall Extract (crop) any detected face and transform the raw UAE ID/Residence Card content such as holder name, nationality, ID number, etc. into a JSON object ready to be consumed by your app.

Below, a typical output result of the /DOCSCAN API endpoint for an Emiratis (UAE) ID card input sample:

Input Emirates (UAE) ID Card

UAE ID card specimen

Extracted UAE ID Card Fields

UAE extracted fields

The code samples used to achieve such result are available to consult via the following gists:

The same logic applies to scanning official travel documents like Visas, Passports, and ID Cards from many others countries in an unified manner, regardless of the underlying programming language used on your backend (Python, PHP, Ruby, JS, etc.) thanks to the DOCSCAN API endpoint as shown in previous blog posts:

Algorithm Details

Internally, PixLab's document scanner engine is based on PP-OCR which is a practical ultra-lightweight OCR system, mainly composed of three parts: DB text detection, detection frame correction, and CRNN text recognition. DB stands for Real-time Scene Text Detection.

PP-OCR: A Practical Ultra Lightweight OCR System - Algorithm Overview

PP-OCR Algorithm Overview

The system adopts 19 effective strategies from 8 aspects including backbone network selection and adjustment, prediction head design, data augmentation, learning rate transformation strategy, regularization parameter selection, pre-training model use, and automatic model tailoring and quantization to optimize and slim down the models of each module.

In PP-OCR, Differentiable Binarization (DB) is used as text detector which is based on a simple segmentation network. It integrates feature extraction and sequence modeling. It adopts the Connectionist Temporal Classification (CTC) loss to avoid the inconsistency between prediction and label.

The algorithm is further optimized in five aspect where the detection model adopts the CML (Collaborative Mutual Learning) knowledge distillation strategy and CopyPaste data expansion strategy. The recognition model adopts the LCNet lightweight backbone network, U-DML knowledge distillation strategy and enhanced CTC loss function improvement, which further improves the inference speed and prediction effect.

New Gender/Age Classification Model Deployed

Here at PixLab, we recently deployed on production, a brand new gender/age classification model available to our customers via the FACEMOTION API endpoint.

gender age detection

  • The new model implementation is based on the ResNet-50 convolutional neural network (CNN) that is 50 layers deep. The network can easily classify images into 1000 object categories, such as keyboard, mouse, pencil, and many animals.

  • The reference, implementation paper is from: Jiankang Deng, Jia Guo, Niannan Xue, Stefanos Zafeiriou: Additive angular margin loss for deep face recognition. In: Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) (2019 (https://arxiv.org/abs/1801.07698).

  • The Python/PHP code samples listed below should be able to easily output the age estimation, gender, and emotion pattern by just looking at the facial shape of any present human face in a given picture or video frame using our new classifcation model.

Python Code


  • FACEMOTION is the sole endpoint needed to perform such a task. It should output the rectangle coordinates for each detected human face that you can pass verbatim if desired to other processing endpoints like CROP or MOGRIFY plus the age estimation, gender and emotion pattern of the target face based on its facial shape.
  • Finally, all of our production ready, code samples are available to consult at our samples page or the PixLab Gihtub repository.

Announcing PixLab Annotate - An Online Image Annotation Tool

The PixLab Computer Vision team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of PixLab Annotate. A web based image annotation, labeling & segmentation tool for Machine Learning model training tasks and beyond...

Annotate Features Set:

  • Rectangle, Polygon, Zoom & Drag labeling tool.
  • Consistent JSON output accepted by most Machine Learning frameworks.
  • Optimized for instance segmentation (Mask R-CNN, etc).
  • Client-side persistent storage - No data transfer involved.
  • Persistent & easy label management (Create, Modify & Delete).
  • Full screen display & Snapshot capture.

Straightforward image segmentation and labeling thanks to the Rectangle & Polygon built-in tool!

At PixLab, we really believe that annotate is a great fit for data scientists, developers or students looking for a straightforward, online image segmentation and labeling tool for their daily machine learning model training tasks and beyond...

Annotate Homepage

Feature & Support Requests

Introducing the Pixel Generate API Endpoint

PixLab Logo

The PixLab Computer Vision Team is pleased to introduce the Pixel Generate API endpoint (/pixelgenerate) which let you in a single call, generate on the fly, images filled with random pixels of desired width & height using a mix of standard Image Processing and soon Machine Learning algorithms.

This endpoint is similar to /newimage except that the image contents is filled with random pixels. This is very useful for generating background (negative) samples for feeding Machine Learning training algorithms for example.

By default, this endpoint return a JSON object holding a link to the generated image output. But, you can set it via the Blob parameters to return the image binary contents instead.

Below, a Python snippet which generate on the fly a new image of height & width of 300x300 filled with random pixels using a single call to /pixelgenerate:

The code sample used to achieve such result is available to consult via the following Github link:

Modern Passport Structure & Bulk Scan APIs

A Passport is a document that almost everyone has at some point in their lives. It is issued by the country’s government to its citizens and mainly being used for traveling purposes. It also serves as proof of nationality, name, and more importantly an Universally Unique ID for its owner.

Modern Passport Structure

Passport Specimen

Many services have been long-time accepting passports as identification documents from their customers to complete their KYC (Know Your Customer) form as required by the legislation in force. This is especially true and enforced for the Finance, HR or Travel sectors. In most cases, a human operator will verify the authenticity of the submitted document and grant validation or reject it.

Things can get really complicated if you have hundreds of KYC forms to checks, but also if your clients differ in nationality. Quickly, you will find yourself drowning in physical copies of passports in different languages that you can not even understand. Let alone the potential legal problems you can face with passport copies laying around the office. This is why, an automated & safe solution for Passports processing is required!

Modern Passport Structure

From the 1980s on wards, most countries started issuing passports containing an MRZ. MRZ stands for the Machine Readable Zone and is usually located at the bottom of the Passport as shown below:

Modern Passport Specimen

Passports MRZ Sample

Passports that contain an MRZ are referred to as MRPs, machine-readable passports (Almost all modern issued Passports have one). The structure of the MRZ is standardized by the ICAO Document 9303 and the International Electro-technical Commission as ISO/IEC 7501-1.

The MRZ is an area on the document that can easily be read by a machine using an OCR Reader Application or API. It’s not important for you to understand how it works, but if you look at it carefully, you will see that it contains most of the relevant information on the document, combined with additional characters and a checksum that can be extracted programmatically and automatically via API as we will see in the next section.

Once parsed, the following information are automatically extracted from the target MRZ and made immediately available to your app, thanks to the /docscan API endpoint:

  • issuingCountry: The issuing country or organization, encoded in three characters.
  • fullName: Passport holder full name. The name is entirely upper case.
  • documentNumber: This is the passport number, as assigned by the issuing country. Each country is free to assign numbers using any system it likes.
  • checkDigit: Check digits are calculated based on the previous field. Thus, the first check digit is based on the passport number, the next is based on the date of birth, the next on the expiration date, and the next on the personal number. The check digit is calculated using this algorithm.
  • nationality: The issuing country or organization, encoded in three characters.
  • dateOfBirth: The date of the passport holder's birth in YYMMDD form. Year is truncated to the least significant two digits. Single digit months or days are perpended with 0.
  • sex: Sex of the passport holder, M for males, F for females, and < for non-specified.
  • dateOfExpiry: The date the passport expires in YYMMDD form. Year is truncated to the least significant two digits. Single digit months or days are perpended with 0.
  • personalNumber: This field is optional and can be used for any purpose that the issuing country desires.
  • finalcheckDigit: This is a check digit for positions 1 to 10, 14 to 20, and 22 to 43 on the second line of the MRZ. Thus, the nationality and sex are not included in the check. The check digit is calculated using this algorithm.

Automatic Passport Processing

PixLab Logo

Fortunately for the developer wishing to automate Passports scanning, PixLab can automatically scan & extract passport MRZ but also help to detect possible fraudulent documents. This is made possible thanks to the /docscan API endpoint which let you in a single call scan government issued documents such as Passports, Visas or ID Cards from various countries.

Besides extracting MRZ, the /docscan API endpoint shall automatically crop any detected face and transform binary Machine Readable Zone into stream of text content (i.e. full name, issuing country, document number, date of expiry, etc.) ready to be consumed by your app in the JSON format.

Below, a typical output result of the /docscan endpoint for a passport input image:

Input Passport Specimen (JPEG/PNG/BMP Image)

Input Image URL

Extracted MRZ Fields

MRZ Fields

What follow is the gist used to achieve such result:

Other document scanning code samples are available to consult via the following Github links:

Face extraction is automatically performed using the /facedetect API endpoint. For a general purpose Optical Character Recognition engine, you should rely on the /OCR API endpoint instead. If you are dealing with PDF documents, you can convert them at first to raw images via the /pdftoimg endpoint.

Conclusion

The era we are in is more digitized than ever. Tasks that are repetitive are slowly being replaced by computers and robots. In many cases, they can perform these tasks faster, with a smaller amount of mistakes and in a more cost-effective manner. At PixLab we focus on building software to replace manual repetitive labor in administrative business processes. The processing and checking of passports can be very time-consuming. Using /docscan to automate your passport processing will enable you to save cost, on-board customers faster and reduce errors in administrative processes.

Detect & Blur Faces Programmatically using PixLab

Our colleague Vincent just published an interesting blog post on how to automatically detect and blur faces at real-time using the PixLab API with a nice introduction on how modern face detection algorithms works under the hood and the privacy concerns related to such use of technology!

Blurred Faces

Talkie OCR - Image to Speech Now on the App Store

Developed by our colleague Mrad Chams from Symisc Systems and entirely powered by the PixLab OCR API endpoint.

Talkie OCR - Image to Speech

Talkie OCR - A state-of-the-art OCR scanner that practically turn almost any images with human readable characters into text content which is in turn transformed into human voice in your native language & accent. Built in features includes:

  • Automatically Recognize the Input Language & Speaks your Accent: Once the scanned image (Book page, magazine, journal, scientific paper, etc.) recognized & transformed into text content, you'll be able to playback that text in your local accent & over 45 languages of your choice!
  • State of the art OCR processing algorithm powered by PixLab.
  • Speaks over 45 languages with their accents.
  • Built-in translation service to over 30 foreign languages of your choice.
  • Built-in Vision Impaired Mode with the ability to recognize the input language automatically.
  • Playback Pause & Resume at Request.
  • Offline Save for Later Read & Playback.

Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

PixLab API 1.9.72 Released!

The PixLab development team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the PixLab API 1.9.72.

PixLab Logo

Since its launch on 2017, PixLab have already processed over 450 Millions of users contents whether static images, GIF or Videos Frames. This milestone release introduces new API endpoints, various minor bug fixes, processing speed improvements by up to 5% and many innovative features. Let's start with the one we are existed about in no particular order:

  • Passports & ID Cards Scan: While documents scanning were introduced in earlier version of the PixLab API via the /docscan endpoint. This release pushes further the accuracy of the OCR engine. A 5MB raw Passport sample now takes less than 3 seconds to execute including face detection & extraction, MRZ (Machine Readable Zone) extraction and finally transformation of the Raw MRZ data into textual content. You can try out the accuracy of the Passport scanning engine using these Python and PHP scripts to see it in action.
  • DNS infrastructure moved to Cloudflare for faster than ever response times.
  • Full support for HTTP/2 and HTTP/3 (QUIC).
  • Up to three layers of redundancy for the standard PixLab OCR engine for faster, accurate & guaranteed scan results.
  • A fresh update of the adult & gore content detection ML model which is used to power the famous PixLab /NSFW API endpoint that have already analyzed over 100 millions of user contents with high accuracy.
  • Face Detection (including facial landmarks extraction) & Emotion Pattern (including gender & age) extraction are now using the RetinaFace Model which scores the highest on the LFW dataset.
  • The /docscan API endpoint now fully support scanning ID cards from Malaysia & Singapore and many other countries (at users request) as well the brand new India Aadhar ID card. Find out more information about Aadhard fully support via our blog announcement here.
  • Finally, a brand new, high performance custom image processing layer written in C/C++ and powered by ImageMagick and our Embedded computer Vision Library SOD is integrated directly into our cloud API.

Pixlab customers are more than advised to take a look at The official API endpoints documentation, The Samples Page, The Github repository for additional information.

Finally, for potentially interested users, you are more than welcome to start a 7 days free trial to see the API in action. Simply head to the PixLab Dashboard and activate your free trial from there.

PixLab Logo

Passports, Travel Documents & ID Cards Scan API Endpoint Available

The PixLab OCR team is pleased to introduce the /docscan API endpoint which let you in a single call scan government issued documents such as Passports, Visas or ID Cards from various countries.

Besides its accurate text scanning capabilities, the /docscan API endpoint shall automatically extract any detected face and transform binary data such as Passport Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) into stream of text payload (i.e. full name, issuing country, document number, date of expiry, etc.) ready to be consumed by your app in the JSON format.

Below, a typical output result of the /docscan endpoint for a passport input image:

Input Passport Specimen (JPEG/PNG/BMP Image)

Input Image URL

Extracted MRZ Fields

MRZ Fields

The code samples used to achieve such result are available to consult via the following Github links:

Face extraction is automatically performed using the /facedetect API endpoint. For a general purpose Optical Character Recognition engine, you should rely on the /OCR endpoint instead. If you are dealing with PDF documents, you can convert them at first to raw images via the /pdftoimg endpoint.

Below, a typical Python code snippet for scanning passports:

import requests
import json

# Given a government issued passport document, extract the user face and parse all MRZ fields.
#
# PixLab recommend that you connect your AWS S3 bucket via your dashboard at https://pixlab.io/dashboard
# so that any cropped face or MRZ crop is stored automatically on your S3 bucket rather than the PixLab one.
# This feature should give you full control over your analyzed media files.
#
# https://pixlab.io/#/cmd?id=docscan for additional information.

req = requests.get('https://api.pixlab.io/docscan',params={
    'img':'https://i.stack.imgur.com/oJY2K.png', # Passport sample
    'type':'passport', # Type of document we are a going to scan
    'key':'Pixlab_key'
})
reply = req.json()
if reply['status'] != 200:
    print (reply['error'])
else:
    print ("User Cropped Face: " + reply['face_url'])
    print ("MRZ Cropped Image: " + reply['mrz_img_url'])
    print ("Raw MRZ Text: " + reply['mrz_raw_text'])
    print ("MRZ Fields: ")
    # Display all parsed MRZ fields
    print ("\tIssuing Country: " + reply['fields']['issuingCountry'])
    print ("\tFull Name: "       + reply['fields']['fullName'])
    print ("\tDocument Number: " + reply['fields']['documentNumber'])
    print ("\tCheck Digit: "   + reply['fields']['checkDigit'])
    print ("\tNationality: "   + reply['fields']['nationality'])
    print ("\tDate Of Birth: " + reply['fields']['dateOfBirth'])
    print ("\tSex: "           + reply['fields']['sex'])
    print ("\tDate Of Expiry: "    + reply['fields']['dateOfExpiry'])
    print ("\tPersonal Number: "   + reply['fields']['personalNumber'])
    print ("\tFinal Check Digit: " + reply['fields']['finalcheckDigit'])

Finally, the official endpoint documentation is available to consult at pixlab.io/cmd?id=docscan and a set of working samples in various programming language are available at the PixLab samples pages.

Automatically Filter Image Uploads According to their NSFW Score

Our colleague Vincent just published an interesting blog post on dev.to on how to automatically filter images uploads (GIF included) according to their NSFW score via the PixLab NSFW API endpoint and apply a blur filter if adult, nudity or gory details is detected. Find out more information via the following links: