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Google Wave – Reinventing online communication and collaboration

Google’s done it again! Jens and Lars Rasmussen, the guys behind Google Maps, finally unveiled the results of 2 years of labour… Google Wave. The Google Wave page describes the tool simply as “a new model for communication and collaboration on the web, coming later this year”. A slightly more user-friendly description is offered by The Register UK: Google Wave is a browser-based app that crossbreeds email with IM and document sharing, allowing you to respond to email-like messages with IM-like chatter – and vice versa. And inside and among these cascading discussion threads – aka “waves” – you can drag-and-drop photos, videos, maps, documents, and more.

The great thing about this is the possibility of connecting currently divergent streams of communication and make real-time communication and collaboration a lot easier (and more fun!). The variety of extensions, applications and gadgets that can also be developed around this new protocal promises to deliver tons of cool and useful functionalities!

The key elements of the upcoming ‘Wave’ technology / protocol: What is a wave?

  • A wave is equal parts conversation and document. People can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.
  • A wave is shared. Any participant can reply anywhere in the message, edit the content and add participants at any point in the process. Then playback lets anyone rewind the wave to see who said what and when.
  • A wave is live. With live transmission as you type, participants on a wave can have faster conversations, see edits and interact with extensions in real-time.

Some key technologies in Google Wave

  • Real-time collaboration – Concurrency control technology lets all people on a wave edit rich media at the same time.
  • Natural language tools – Server-based models provide contextual suggestions and spelling correction.
  • Extending Google Wave – Embed waves in other sites or add live social gadgets, thanks to Google Wave APIs.

Watch the full developer conference video included with this post for a sneak-peek at this amazing development… and visit the official page to sign up for alerts and more!

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