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Cooliris, a startup that’s been developing dynamic and immersive new ways to browse the web, continues rolling out new features for its PicLens browser plug-in. Most promising of the news features is the search capability for video site YouTube.

When PicLens launched last June, we were already excited by its ability to create full-screen slideshows to browse photo sites like Flickr. Since then, it looks like the service has gotten a lot more sophisticated, creating an image browsing interface that The New York Times describes as “a three-dimensional space that feels like an unending hallway of images.” Basically, your browser disappears and you fly around in front of a wall of content.

The interface moves PicLens beyond competing with slideshow companies like Slide and Rockyou and into a more generally useful service. And with the launch of PicLens’ YouTube compatibility — which seems to be the first of what the Times says will be a number of new multimedia search features — the plugin is really starting to live up to that promise.

PicLens’ 3D YouTube search can be accessed direct from the video site, as well as via the PicLens button in your browser toolbar. Here’s a video demo:


The plug-in’s latest release includes other new features like Firefox 3.0 support, an improved user interface that lets you zoom in much further than before and optimized media RSS support. More info here and here.

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