December 9, 1996 1:45 PM ET

Startup Lanacom debuts HeadLiner info-push software
By Maria Seminerio

  Canadian Web software startup Lanacom Inc. today unveiled its HeadLiner tool for delivering tailored content to users' desktops.

HeadLiner uses Lanacom's proprietary Content Agent technology to gather information from hundreds of selected news, sports, business, weather and other sites based on user preferences. The product is the brainchild of company founder Tony Davis, who helped create Delrina Corp.'s WinFax product line.

The free software's filtering mechanism enables users to request updates whenever stocks rise or fall to specific values and to receive news stories or other World Wide Web documents based on key words, phrases and names, company officials said.

Content Agents sit on the user's desktop, launching the Web browser only when specific documents are requested for download, reducing bandwidth requirements, officials said. Users can also request information from Web sites other than those selected by HeadLiner. The Content Agents are configured to monitor Web sites for changes and to alert users when they occur.

The low-bandwidth approach is a direct effort to top the market-leading PointCast Inc. product, officials said.

The product offers a choice of customizable user interfaces, including ticker and screen saver interfaces, which display content meeting users' requirements. Users can also choose to view content across the title bar of an active application, officials said.

Early next year, the Toronto-based company will debut a corporate version, enabling companies to deliver selected content to workgroups, clients or customers. Pricing for the corporate product has not been set but is expected to be below $100.

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