Intel is launching a new product called Mash Maker — which doesn’t just mash-up music, but entire web pages — in testing mode today.
When you install Mash Maker, it creates a toolbar in your web browser. The toolbar then suggests different premade mashups (mostly different visualization tools) that you can bring up on different web pages, such as seeing Yelp reviews and Google Maps on Craigslist, or looking up how much leg room you’ll have on each flight on Expedia. You can then “pin” widgets to a page, so they come up any time you visit. (See Intel’s diagram of how Mash Maker works below.)
Since there are only a finite number of pre-made tools, Intel’s other big selling point is the fact that you can design your own mash-ups. It’s hard to know, however, how many users will take the time to actually do that. If they do, look for some pretty cool things. Yahoo allows users to create their own mash-ups of RSS feeds using Yahoo Pipes, and users have created some useful things such as custom hot deal finders, Flickr filters and Twitter search functionality (since, you know, it doesn’t have its own yet).
Mash Maker is a big departure for Intel, which is known mainly for it hardware, and it’s also not completely clear yet how it will stand out from the similar Greasemonkey, the popular Firefox add-on. But the product should be easier to use and more secure, less geared towards programmers and more towards average users according to CNET’s interview with Robert Enalls of Intel.