Today Intel launched a public beta version of their new web-based mash up application, called Mash Maker. The browser plugin, available for both Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, allows the user to mix content from different websites into one customized mash up.
A mash-up is a mix of data from different sources presented in one overview. The original term originates from the music field, as in mixing music or video together. An example of this video inspired mashing is BBC’s newly released online Masher application, allowing users to mash their own videos with BBC material.
The Mash concept is not new to the world, but Intel now tries to bring it under the attention of a broader audience. As one surfs the Internet, the Mash Maker browser will indicate the pages for which mash up possibilities exist and the user can then customize his browser view by combining different data.
Among the current mash up possibilities figure the option to link your friends’ Facebook profile to Google maps, a Youtube video search in Google, view of legroom space on flights booked on Expedia.com, Craiglist apartments showed on Google Maps and many more . Except for these existing sites, Intel Mash Maker lets you customize about every site you want, but some patience and dedication is probably required to make it an efficient work tool.
Whether Mash Maker will become a success it yet a doubt. Are regular surfers really interested in mashing up sites? Yahoo Pipes, a similar mash up service, has now been launched over a year ago, but remains a niche application and doesn’t seem to appeal to the majority of internet surfers. Moreover, Intel is a typical hardware company and the launch of a purely web based application is therefore a surprising move. Is Intel trying to prove they are still hip or is this a way to track surfer habits of techie people? Who knows? But maybe you get hooked by the Mash up microbe…