Open source web browser allows browsing based on personal online data


Original press release was issued by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), written by Professor Irene Ng.

What happens when you fuse a web browser together with a social media? You get RUMPEL. The first of its kind web browser promises to save us time with smarter browsing, allows us to be in control of our very own private “personal data palette” stored all across the internet, thus being beneficial to users and not just the businesses willing to harvest it. All you really need is a hat. Well not exactly the kind which shields us from sunlight, but to be precise, a HAT (Hub-of-all-Things).

As a part of the overall HAT initiative, a £1.2 million Research Councils UK digital economy project and developed at WMG, University of Warwick, HAT collects data about people held on the internet such as social media, calendars, smartphones with the possibility of also including shopping, financial and other personal data and allows them to share, organize and visualize it in whatever way they wish. You can sign up to get a HAT and try out RUMPEL beta here.

In terms of compatibility, RUMPEL runs on all computer Operating Systems and also excludes all third parties and advertisements. RUMPEL is made primarily to serve the users, as is shown by the commendable approach of the developers, who chose to make it available as an open source programme.

“The aim of RUMPEL is to enable users use the data that’s stored in all kinds of places online to benefit them and not just the businesses that harvest them. We want people from all over the world to try out RUMPEL and experience for themselves how it can save them time, money and help them make better decisions.” says Professor Irene Ng of WMG, University of Warwick, who has led RUMPEL’s development.

There are already plans under way how to improve the experience further. The team aims to include personalized suggestions based on users’ needs, habits and lifestyles — for example prioritizing news-feed according to your interests, or helping you choose a concert or film to see taking into account your location and what you have enjoyed previously.

It may sound a little crazy, but we might be nearing a not-so-distant future where our daily program will be narrated the instant we open up a web browser in the morning.

Michal Madaras

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