The latest open-source project to come out of Google, Google Wave promises a new concept in personal communication and collaboration.
The latest open-source project to come out of Google (following mobile device platform Android and web browser Chrome), Google Wave promises a new concept in personal communication and collaboration.
‘We asked ourselves what email might look like if it was invented today,’ explains Lars Rasmussen, software engineering manager at Google and one of two brothers who also worked on Google Maps.
The Rasmussens argue that email, which predates the internet by more than 20 years, is looking distinctly anachronistic, basically mimicking age-old “snail mail”. Their solution is a web page that combines features of email, instant messaging, bulletin boards and online collaboration tools. It’s not such a new concept in the business world – there are already platforms around that do very similar things – but this is being pitched very much as a consumer proposition.
A user creates a ‘wave’ and adds people to it. Others can insert replies or edit the wave directly. Unlike with instant messenger tools, you can see what someone else is typing keystroke by keystroke, not just when they hit the send button. Another facility enables you to “replay” the wave to see how it built up.
Google Wave has been launched only in a limited preview version and the programmers are hoping developers will use the open-source platform to create their own applications. Already, you can solve Sudoku puzzles together or plan trips with Lonely Planet or Google Maps. It remains to be seen, however, to what extent Google Wave will replace simple old-fashioned email.