Google Wave - Most Innovative Product of 2009?
Yesterday at Google I/O attendees got to see a preview of the new Google Wave communication system. Developed out of the Google Sydney offices, Lars Rasumussen says that Wave is "what email would look like if it were invented today".
The team that developed the application are brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen and Stephanie Hannon. The Rasmussen brothers are the geniuses behind Google Maps, which was a significant change in the way we look at the web today. I'm happy to see they haven't stopped thinking about innovation since then.
So what is it all about? Wave combines GMail, GTalk, GoogleMaps and Google Docs all together into a truly collaborative, online workspace. The following summary from the creators of the technology describes what it can do nicely:
"In Google Wave you create a wave and add people to it. Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly. It's concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave. That means Google Wave is just as well suited for quick messages as for persistent content -- it allows for both collaboration and communication. You can also use "playback" to rewind the wave to see how it evolved." - Lars Rasmussen
There's also a full Wave API allowing developers to enhance Google Wave. You can build extensions or embed it into your site. Ola Bini has already developed an example of an Ioke Wave Robot. Google also wants to expand ther platform to different providers through the Wave Federation Protocol. Apparently it will be available for all sometime this year.
Google have done a great job of creating a feel-good conference, even during these times, by giving out a free HTC Magic (G2) phone running Android to all attendees. Man, I wish I was there!The excitement around this announcement does make me wonder why there isn't more interest in the Eclipse Communications Framework project. In ECF you get real time shared editing, instant messaging - real collaboration all within you Eclipse IDE. As always, I encourage you to get involved in projects like this, so we can have innovation in our IDEs as well as in our browsers.