Google Wave is a new suite of technologies being developed at Google to bring online communication into a more modern and social age. The project leads, the Rasmussen brothers, showed off this technology at Google’s I/O 2009 Developer Conference held at the end of May. It is going to be entirely open-source with plenty of APIs so you can incorporate many of its features into all kinds of web and desktop apps. I’ve included the presentation and more details about Wave below.
At its core Google Wave is a communications system, some things they showed off in their presentation were it working like email, instant messaging, a collaboration tool, a photo-sharing system, and many other things. A Wave, as the threads are called can be controlled by one user, and any number of other users can be invited into a Wave. Inside of a Wave, private sub-waves can be sent between a small sub-section of the users. It is very hard to really explain what it is capable of without having a demo like in the video. I really suggest that if you are interested at all in this kind of thing that you watch their presentation.
Wave is open source and can be distributed on your own servers just like how corporate email works. It is completely customizable so developers can develop plugins to use Wave for things even the creators never thought of. The APIs allow you to integrate Wave into your own apps, as an example, they showed off how Google Wave can interface with Blogger.
I really think this is the future of the Internet and I am going to keep a really close eye on where this goes. Google Wave is built with HTML5, which is one of the reasons I don’t think we will see a full rollout for a while. HTML5 is still not a finalized standard and isn’t fully supported by all browsers yet. Within the next couple of years, this is going to dramatically change the way we communicate on the internet and I can’t wait.