BitTorrent, for good or ill, was a giant step for pushing data out to clients. While it's most often associated with piracy, it has many practical applications on the correct side of the law. The transfer technology is allowing the company to look in new directions -- such as chat clients and commerce -- but its now looking to additional avenues like web browsing with "Project Maelstrom."
Now that BitTorrent's newest offering Sync, which allows a user to maintain access to data on a low capacity device through network-attached storage (NAS) among other things, is rolling along the beginnings of a new project was announced. "Project Maelstrom" joins BitTorrent's other projects in development, including Bleep and its Live broadcast application.
The new project is surfacing as an invite-only alpha for the teased "Project Maelstrom" browser. CEO Eric Klinker suggests that BitTorrent's newest attempt at software tries to change basic Internet usage, looking for a new avenue for "web content to be published, accessed and consumed." In Klinker's announcement on December 10, he pondered on some of the major concerns facing the Internet today that BitTorrent wants to solve.
"How can we keep the Internet open?" asked Klinker. "How can we keep access to the Internet neutral? How can we better ensure our private data is not misused by large companies? How can we help the Internet scale efficiently for content?"
BitTorrent believes, naturally, the answer lay with distributed technology. Unfortunately, not much more information was revealed regarding "Project Maelstrom." Klinker includes a link to a sign-up form, so those interested in becoming "a fractional owner of this new Internet" can request an invitation.
The company's attempt at creating a distributed browser isn't the first attempt in the last five years. Conference papers by IEEE published in 2009 and 2011 discuss a distributed browser developed for enterprise called Subspace, but aside from that existing distributed browsers for general use are as light on the ground as information about "Project Maelstrom" itself.
Those who wish to give BitTorrent's new software a try are invited to request an invite through the company's submission form for alpha access.