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This article describes a content-based indexing and retrieval (CBIR) system based on hierarchical binary signatures. Binary signatures are obtained through a described binarization process of classical features (color, texture and shape). The Hamming binary distance (based on binary XOR operation) is used during retrieval. This technique was tested on a real image collection containing 7200 images and on a virtual collection of one million images. Results are very good both in terms of speed and accuracy allowing real-time image retrieval in very large image collections.