Semantinet today announced the launch of its first product, headup.com. Headup is a browser extension that cross-references data from all your social networks, including Twitter, Gmail, Facebook, Last.fm, Digg, and FriendFeed. Headup integrates directly into these sites and allows you to quickly get more information about your friends' activities on other networks. The extension only works in Firefox and is based on Silverlight 2, which Microsoft just released this week.
Semantinet provided us with 400 invites for our readers. You can find more details about how to claim yours at the end of this post.
Depending on Silverlight might seem like a risky move at first, but a fresh install of Silverlight takes less than 10 seconds and Semantinet argues that it decided to use Siverlight instead of Flash because of its better privacy controls and in order to achieve its design goals.
How Does it Work?
Headup's mission is to connect you with your friends' activities across different social networks and to learn about your likes and dislikes so that it can make recommendations for you. Headup will add little icons to items it recognizes, which can be names, songs, videos, etc.
You activate headup by clicking on these icons. If a friend likes a particular song on Last.fm, for example, it will give you the option to play the song in the headup window, see when the band will play in your town, and what your friends thought about the song. If headup recognizes a person, the pop-up will also give you information about their latest Twitter updates, or Last.fm plays.
After the install, headup already works without having you having to set anything up, but once you import your contacts, it will go out and look at your personal connections from Twitter, FriendFeed, or Gmail.
Headup can also make use of Yahoo's Fire Eagle geolocation service to provide you with relevant local information. Headup will also make a limited set of recommendations, though this is not the focus of the product. After it recognizes your tastes, for example, it can recommend YouTube videos you might like.
Headup smartly stays out of the way when you don't want to use it. Overall, headup is a very useful little tool and it will only get more powerful as Semantinet connect it to more services.
If you want to try headup yourself, head over to the beta sign-up page and use 'RWWCODE' as your invite code. Once you tried it out, feel free to let us know your thoughts about it in the comments.