Google have announced (at the Google Developer Conference I/O) a new communication and collaboration platform.
Developed by Lars and Jens Rasmussen, originators of Google Maps, it is at the developer stage and is promised later this year.
Lars describes a Wave "equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more".
Several aspects are interesting. The code will be made available so it will be open source (as is Android and Google Chrome). Google is inviting developers to work with them so as to ensure very wide and rich applicability. It has taken two years to get to this point. It was worked on in Sydney, hence its working name "Walkabout".
But what will it do?
"Here's how it works: 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 and see how it evolved."