Google has always been a trendsetter in whatever it does and continues to be one. The fascinating products like Google search, Maps, Earth, Sketchup, Gmail and what not..I guess almost everything they've built. And once again, they come with a fascinating product that is surely going to change the way in which the world communicates. I see a instant of time in near future where emails, discussion forums and other communication tools will be "something that existed in past" because everybody will be too busy riding on waves. Yes I am talking about the most awaited, talked and twitted google product, Google Wave.
Lars Rasmusen along with his brother started working on this project back in 2007 at Google office in Sydney. For past two years they have been working on it and on 30th Sept 09, they went live for first public beta release of Wave, giving out 100,000 invitations who had registered themselves for being a part of Google Wave. Its still in beta so there are bugs and other issues but the reason why they went live was that they wanted to know how people would/will react to it. When the news of Google giving out Wave invites leaked out, there must have been enormous searching done on Google itself to search for them. Twitter is trending "Google Wave" or "#wave" for past three days and the incoming twits still continue to flow. A guy even put up an "e-bay" bid for selling Google Wave invite and within a fortnight, his bid received 12000 hits and the highest bid was $157. People have been talking, waiting for Google Wave, just to experience something magical. Currently Google Wave is used only by Googlers and now, the first 100,000 users would get to use it. The news is that it will be going live in mid 2010(or even early) and I cant stand my excitement.
So what's Google Wave is all about? It's a online communication and collaboration tool that aggregates almost everything you do on web at one place. Each new conversation is called a wave and there are participant in that wave who add, edit, share content in real time. This video of Wave's first demo at Google I/O 09 shows some of the amazing features that it has which I am sure, will redefine our notions about communication. It has messaging, discussions, media sharing(photos, videos), creating/editing a document, inbuilt Google search in a wave itself and lots which must have been added since that video, all in one place. And the possibilities of what you can do on a wave are limitless.
Some reasons to get excited about Google Wave are that it's an open source, any developer can built an extension, it follows open protocol system same as that of email, anybody can start their own customised wave system, it can be embedded anywhere you want it to be, it comes preloaded with a bunch of cool applications and it's totally web based.
Who should look forward for it? Everyone! Right from a naive user to a developer, it has goodies for everybody! Anyone who uses web for getting his work done by collaborating with other people present over there should be excited about it. I also see Google Wave as a potential e-learning tool basically for the virtue of it being to aggregate and collaborate stuff in real time.
The day is not far when we will be talking about wave and must have almost forgotten email, social networks, chat engines, twitter etc. It has been discussed as killer for all this apps, but being open minded, google has developed API's to integrate wave with almost all of this applications. What will really affect is the number of people who actually visit these sites to do all stuf, because after wave it can be done from one place.
Thanks to Google for yet another revolution in online communication! We are waiting...