SemantiNet Launches Power-Packed Headup Firefox Add-On (Invites)

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    SemantiNet, a Tel Aviv-based semantic software company operating in beta which recently expanded to San Francisco and received a $3.4 million Series A funding infusion in September, is introducing a Firefox add-on called headup.

    Headup employs a semantic discovery mechanism that operates as an on-demand overlay for Web users and portrays content deemed relevant to various keywords. This is done with the help of Microsoft’s Silverlight 2 technology. What is particularly appealing about headup is that it presents itself as both unobtrusive and full-featured. Only when you feel the need to interact with things headup ascertains is valuable in some way will it spring to attention in the form of an expanded window filled with data. A “head-up display,” if you will.

    Where headup excels is in its multi-faceted approach to finding things and presenting a sort of ever-changing and ever-adapting data stream. Click on a song title that headup recognizes as music (a green plus icon or addition symbol will show itself if this is the case) and you might be shown a track to play back, lyrics, artist biography, videos when applicable, a collection of friends who happen to enjoy it enough to call it a Last.fm favorite, and so on and so forth.

    You can also interact with user profiles on sites like Facebook more easily than you normally would be able. Quickly view a contact’s Twitter status, his/her favorite media, and any friends or acquaintances you both have connections with. (For those concerned with security, SemantiNet explains that your user information is stored locally, not with its servers.)

    If you’re curious as to why headup might be necessary if you’re already well-integrated with various services on the Web, there’s the simple matter of convenience to consider. As I describe above, Headup is a kind of overlay, which means that it operates above what it is you’re doing on any given webpage.

    Instead of traveling to and fro various services online, Headup gives you easy access to all things you might consider relevant. It also adds some measure of personalization to your browsing experience, regardless of any past interaction with a particular service. If Headup knows your tastes, you could pay a visit to YouTube, for instance, and access media deemed suitable for you. This of course may not be what you want to get out of Headup, and if this is so, you can simply ignore it. It behaves subtly enough when not triggered that you can go about your business without getting disturbed by alerts and whatnot. You’re definitely in control with this one.

    It may not pay heed to your every whim and desire. Its intelligence only goes so far as its connections with names like Facebook, Flickr, Zvents, Friendfeed, Yelp, Yahoo (Fire Eagle), Digg, Gmail, Wikipedia, etc. But suffice it to say that the power a user gains through SemantiNet’s download is remarkable for a fresh launch. All said, it is free to use, so you’ll only need a fascination with Mozilla’s Firefox browser to get started. If you were to fill your Firefox add-on list with strict essentials, the headup download may soon rank among them. And that is because it can only grow in utility with further development.

    Invites: headup is currently in closed beta, but we have 400 invites for Mashable readers. To get yours click here and use the invite code MASHCOD.