“Our purpose is to increase the learning opportunities that a particular human being has by making every word on every page a learning trigger on the highest, contextual level,” says Carlos Bhola, the Founder and CEO of Kikin, a new touch-based browser experience, who has plenty of previous experience, having worked at Vonage, EachNet/eBay and gate5/Nokia. But Bhola says his these projects aren’t nearly as compelling as his new browser app, Kikin, which turns any word on a webpage into an “exploration trigger”.
If you think of reading on your iPad today, it’s a cumbersome process to search for a specific term or word. You have to move your finger to the search box in the upper left hand corner and then type in the same word or copy/paste it. With Kikin, you need only touch the word and it expands into a small box of contextual search results.
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Let’s say you’re reading an article about President Barack Obama’s debt reduction plan. If you then click on Barack Obama’s name on that page, Kikin will bring you more relevant information than if you we’re just searching for it on Google.
Kikin contextualizes results in 3 ways. First, it knows what your favorite or most frequented sites are. Second, it’s taking the query into context, linguistically. For example, tapping the word, “Sunshine” on Weather.com would bring up a different result than clicking “Sunshine” on imbd.com. Third, it contextualizes the search term with the page’s semantic content. So if the article is about debt reduction, then the results would take that subject into account and deliver results about Obama recently in the news.
Things started kicking off at Kikin in 2009 and its free browser officially launched in September of this year in the iTunes store. Bhola says the strategic implication is a fundamental shift of power away from publishers to users (and their browsers), that cannot be prevented by the search engines, publishers, etc.
Kikin plans on creating a SDK for other apps like Flipboard, Instapaper, ESPN, CNN and Zite and would love to be in any and all browsers on the iPad. Unfortunately for Kikin, Safari doesn’t allow for this. Kikin also plans on creating a desktop version for Chrome and Firefox.
Kikin for the iPhone will be available later this month.