Image embedding guide for Android

The MediaPipe Image Embedder task lets you convert image data into a numeric representation to accomplish ML-related image processing tasks, such as comparing the similarity of two images. These instructions show you how to use the Image Embedder with Android apps.

For more information about the capabilities, models, and configuration options of this task, see the Overview.

Code example

The MediaPipe Tasks example code is a simple implementation of a Image Embedder app for Android. The example uses the camera on a physical Android device to continuously embed images, and can also run the embedder on image files stored on the device.

You can use the app as a starting point for your own Android app, or refer to it when modifying an existing app. The Image Embedder example code is hosted on GitHub.

Download the code

The following instructions show you how to create a local copy of the example code using the git command line tool.

To download the example code:

  1. Clone the git repository using the following command:
    git clone
  2. Optionally, configure your git instance to use sparse checkout, so you have only the files for the Image Embedder example app:
    cd mediapipe
    git sparse-checkout init --cone
    git sparse-checkout set examples/image_embedder/android

After creating a local version of the example code, you can import the project into Android Studio and run the app. For instructions, see the Setup Guide for Android.

Key components

The following files contain the crucial code for this image embedder example application:

  • ImageEmbedderHelper.kt: Initializes the image embedder and handles the model and delegate selection.
  • MainActivity.kt: Implements the application and assembles the user interface components.


This section describes key steps for setting up your development environment and code projects to use Image Embedder. For general information on setting up your development environment for using MediaPipe tasks, including platform version requirements, see the Setup guide for Android.


Image Embedder uses the library. Add this dependency to the build.gradle file of your Android app development project. Import the required dependencies with the following code:

dependencies {
    implementation ''


The MediaPipe Image Embedder task requires a trained model that is compatible with this task. For more information on available trained models for Image Embedder, see the task overview Models section.

Select and download the model, and then store it within your project directory:


Specify the path of the model within the ModelAssetPath parameter. In the example code, the model is defined in the setupImageEmbedder() function in ImageEmbedderHelper.kt file:

Use the BaseOptions.Builder.setModelAssetPath() method to specify the path used by the model. This method is referred to in the code example in the next section.

Create the task

You can use the createFromOptions function to create the task. The createFromOptions function accepts configuration options to set the embedder options. For more information on configuration options, see Configuration Overview.

The Image Embedder task supports 3 input data types: still images, video files, and live video streams. You need to specify the running mode corresponding to your input data type when creating the task. Choose the tab corresponding to your input data type to see how to create the task and run inference.


ImageEmbedderOptions options =
imageEmbedder = ImageEmbedder.createFromOptions(context, options);


ImageEmbedderOptions options =
imageEmbedder = ImageEmbedder.createFromOptions(context, options);

Live stream

ImageEmbedderOptions options =
    .setResultListener((result, inputImage) -> {
         // Process the embedding result here.
imageEmbedder = ImageEmbedder.createFromOptions(context, options);

The example code implementation allows the user to switch between processing modes. The approach makes the task creation code more complicated and may not be appropriate for your use case. You can see this code in the setupImageEmbedder() function in the ImageEmbedderHelper.kt file.

Configuration options

This task has the following configuration options for Android apps:

Option Name Description Value Range Default Value
runningMode Sets the running mode for the task. There are three modes:

IMAGE: The mode for single image inputs.

VIDEO: The mode for decoded frames of a video.

LIVE_STREAM: The mode for a livestream of input data, such as from a camera. In this mode, resultListener must be called to set up a listener to receive results asynchronously.
l2_normalize Whether to normalize the returned feature vector with L2 norm. Use this option only if the model does not already contain a native L2_NORMALIZATION TFLite Op. In most cases, this is already the case and L2 normalization is thus achieved through TFLite inference with no need for this option. Boolean False
quantize Whether the returned embedding should be quantized to bytes via scalar quantization. Embeddings are implicitly assumed to be unit-norm and therefore any dimension is guaranteed to have a value in [-1.0, 1.0]. Use the l2_normalize option if this is not the case. Boolean False
resultListener Sets the result listener to receive the embedding results asynchronously when the Image Embedder is in the live stream mode. Can only be used when running mode is set to LIVE_STREAM N/A Not set
errorListener Sets an optional error listener. N/A Not set

Prepare data

Image Embedder works with images, video file and live stream video. The task handles the data input preprocessing, including resizing, rotation and value normalization.

You need to convert the input image or frame to a object before passing it to the Image Embedder task.



// Load an image on the user’s device as a Bitmap object using BitmapFactory.

// Convert an Android’s Bitmap object to a MediaPipe’s Image object.
Image mpImage = new BitmapImageBuilder(bitmap).build();



// Load a video file on the user's device using MediaMetadataRetriever

// From the video’s metadata, load the METADATA_KEY_DURATION and
// METADATA_KEY_VIDEO_FRAME_COUNT value. You’ll need them
// to calculate the timestamp of each frame later.

// Loop through the video and load each frame as a Bitmap object.

// Convert the Android’s Bitmap object to a MediaPipe’s Image object.
Image mpImage = new BitmapImageBuilder(frame).build();

Live stream


// Create a CameraX’s ImageAnalysis to continuously receive frames
// from the device’s camera. Configure it to output frames in RGBA_8888
// format to match with what is required by the model.

// For each Android’s ImageProxy object received from the ImageAnalysis,
// extract the encapsulated Android’s Image object and convert it to
// a MediaPipe’s Image object. mediaImage = imageProxy.getImage()
Image mpImage = new MediaImageBuilder(mediaImage).build();

In the example code, the data preparation is handled in the ImageEmbedderHelper.kt file.

Run the task

You can call the embed function corresponding to your running mode to trigger inferences. The Image Embedder API returns the embedding vectors for the input image or frame.


ImageEmbedderResult embedderResult = imageEmbedder.embed(image);


// Calculate the timestamp in milliseconds of the current frame.
long frame_timestamp_ms = 1000 * video_duration * frame_index / frame_count;

// Run inference on the frame.
ImageEmbedderResult embedderResult =
    imageEmbedder.embedForVideo(image, frameTimestampMs);

Live stream

// Run inference on the frame. The embedding results will be available
// via the `resultListener` provided in the `ImageEmbedderOptions` when
// the image embedder was created.
imageEmbedder.embedAsync(image, frameTimestampMs);

Note the following:

  • When running in the video mode or the live stream mode, you must also provide the timestamp of the input frame to the Image Embedder task.
  • When running in the image or the video mode, the Image Embedder task will block the current thread until it finishes processing the input image or frame. To avoid blocking the current thread, execute the processing in a background thread.
  • When running in the live stream mode, the Image Embedder task doesn’t block the current thread but returns immediately. It will invoke its result listener with the detection result every time it has finished processing an input frame. If the embedAsync function is called when the Image Embedder task is busy processing another frame, the task ignores the new input frame.

In the example code, the embed function is defined in the ImageEmbedderHelper.kt file.

Handle and display results

Upon running inference, the Image Embedder task returns an ImageEmbedderResult object that contains a list of embeddings (either floating point or scalar-quantized) for the input image.

The following shows an example of the output data from this task:

  Embedding #0 (sole embedding head):
    float_embedding: {0.0, 0.0, ..., 0.0, 1.0, 0.0, 0.0, 2.0}
    head_index: 0

This result was obtained by embedding the following image:

You can compare the similarity of two embeddings using the ImageEmbedder.cosineSimilarity function. See the following code for an example.

// Compute cosine similarity.
double similarity = ImageEmbedder.cosineSimilarity(