Kikin Inc.

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kikin Inc. is a technology startup based in New York City that specializes in context-based search and various solutions for delivering it to end-users.[1][2][3][4][5] In February 2013, kikin's premier product, kikin for Android was launched on select Vodafone tablets.[6][7] U.S. patents protecting kikin's technology were granted on January 31, 2013.[8][9] The company ceased operations in October 2014.


kikin was founded in 2008 by Carlos Bhola, Gerald Kropitz, and Andreas Ruehrig. Carlos Bhola was previously involved with various companies at their initial stages, both as an investor and a partner. Most recently, he was the co-founder and President of Vonage. Prior to that he had been an investor in gate5/Nokia, China Technology Realty (CTR), Chengdu RE, and Aircom. Before entering the world of investment and startups, Carlos had been a computer science researcher and studied at Carnegie Mellon University working on Artificial Intelligence.[no citations needed here] At kikin, Carlos was joined by his long-time partner and associate, Woo Kim. Woo, a graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology currently serves as the CFO of kikin.


The core of kikin's technology is context-based search. The goal of this is to deliver more relevant results to users in situations where a context could be recovered from the search scenario. A common example of such a situation is when a user encounters a term in a web page or document, and wants to look it up.

To deliver users with context-based results, kikin has developed various client-side solutions that make their search technology easily accessible by the user. On the desktop side, kikin has been developing an extension for the Google Chrome browser where a long-press on any term on a page yields kikin's context-based search results. Much of kikin's focus however has been on integrating kikin's search technology into various mobile platforms. kikin's most recent forays on this path include kikin for Android, for Android-based devices, and kikin EasySearch™[10] for iOS-based devices.

kikin on iOS

On iOS, kikin developed the kikin EasySearch™ API[10] technology, which is essentially a library that can used by app developers to integrate kikin's search technology with their apps. As a showcase for this technology, kikin released the kikin Browser for iPad which is a browser based on Safari's rendering engine, but with kikin search technology integrated into it.[11][12][13][14] The browser has attracted many positive reviews, but recently kikin has decided to shift away their focus from the Browser app to the integration of kikin on the Android platform.[15]

kikin for Android

kikin is working with device manufacturers to integrate kikin's search technology deeply and pervasively into the Android platform and make it a fundamental part of the user experience. The image on the right depicts kikin for Android in action. When the users searches for the term "Java" by long-pressing on it, kikin looks at the surrounding context and delivers results that are about the island of Java and not about the Java programming language. kikin's context-based search technology analyzes the text surrounding the search term and delivers the user with results that are contextually relevant.[16]

kikin for Chrome

kikin has also been developing an extension for Chrome, similar to its other products. kikin's Chrome extension is similar to its touch-based offerings, and a search is triggered when a user holds the click key down (generally the left mouse button) for a short span of time.[17]

kikin Smart Selection

In order to avoid the user the hassle of exactly selecting the search term, i.e. for "President Obama" having to somehow select both words—kikin developed Smart Selection which intelligently selects a term consisting of one or more words based on the linguistic structure of the surrounding words. As such, if the user touched either "President" or "Obama", kikin's Smart Selection technology would select the entire term rather than just a fragment.[18]


  1. "Kikin Is A Smart Web Browser For iPad With Fast Maps, Omnibox, Social Sharing Options And More". Redmond Pie. July 31, 2012. 
  2. "How an iPad Browser Could Change the Way You Search". Mashable. October 6, 2011. 
  3. "The Kikin App is the next evolution of touch browsing". The Next Web. October 10, 2011. 
  4. "KIKIN customizes your web experience based on locally stored preferences -- The 20 Hot New York City Startups You Need To Watch". Business Insider. March 18, 2010. 
  5. "Kikin Personalizes Search By Tapping Into Your Social Graph". TechCrunch. October 23, 2009. 
  6. "Making touchscreens better: How kikin is driving innovation". Official Vodafone UK blog. February 22, 2013. 
  7. "kikin’s ‘Touch to Search’ service set for Android debut on the Vodafone Smart Tab II". Official Vodafone UK blog. February 18, 2013. 
  8. "Systems and methods for contextual personalized searching (US 20130031087 A1)". Data provided by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services (Google Patents Portal). Jan 31, 2013. 
  9. "Systems and methods for rich query construction (US 20130031110 A1)". Data provided by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services (Google Patents Portal). Jan 31, 2013. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named easy_search_blog_post
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named kikin_ipad_browser_features
  12. "kikin Browser for iPad". iTunes App Store. 
  13. "Kikin Browser for iPad, Changing The Way We Use The Web". Ultralinx. October 10, 2011. 
  14. "kikin: An Excellent Web Browser For iPad". makeuseof. September 18, 2011. 
  15. "Focusing Our Efforts on Operating Systems, Not Apps". Official kikin Team Blog. November 28, 2012. 
  16. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named kikin_android
  17. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named kikin_for_chrome
  18. "Smart Selection - kikin for Android".