Blinkx Plans Contextual Search Tool

NEW YORK Blinkx plans to introduce a new consumer service designed to bring search results to users in several different computer programs.

Called Pico, the downloadable file sets up a set of customizable channel buttons on the top of users’ desktops, giving them instant access to search results based on the content of the screen. The search results include several types of content, such as Web search, Wikipedia entries, MySpace profiles and video clips.

Blinkx has partnered with Miva to show contextual ads tied to the Pico application.

Suranga Chandratillake, chief technology officer of Blinkx, said Pico offered the promise of bringing search to users, rather than requiring them to leave what they’re doing. In tests, Pico users typically clicked entries 30-40 times per day, he said.

“This sort of thing lives and dies with relevancy,” Chandratillake said. “It’s about allowing people to bring search into their work flow.”

To aid distribution, Blinkx is negotiating deals with Web publishers to distribute Pico. The first agreement is with The Times (United Kingdom), which will have Pico buttons for its news and sports news.

San Francisco-based Blinkx also operates a video search engine,, which competes with services from Google, Yahoo and AOL.