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Google Wave to reinvent e-mail (and pretty much everything else besides!)

Google Wave to reinvent e-mail (and pretty much everything else besides!)

Marcus2nd Jun 2009 6:02 pm

Google have just unveiled their latest project to the web development community, and based on their early demonstrations, it looks set to revolutionise the way people communicate online.

Entitled "Google Wave", the latest addition to Google's arsenal aims to reinvent the way we use e-mail, instant messaging, document collaboration, blogging, and anything else that developers care to throw into the mix.

The project was kicked off a couple of years ago in the same team previously responsible for Google Maps. Their starting point was to consider what e-mail might be like, if it were only just being invented now. Conscious that today's internet sees people using a variety of tools to interact, the resulting Google Wave aims to merge the concept of mail, instant messaging, forums, file sharing, and online collaboration into a single entity, whilst also tightly integrating with external blogs and social networking tools like Twitter.

Instead of composing a new e-mail, starting a new conversation, or creating a blank document, a Google Wave user simply starts a new "wave". From there, the wave can take whichever shape and direction its participants choose.

Why have many segregated replies to an e-mail, when everyone can edit the original to include their comments? Why start a separate conversation to discuss an aspect of a document, when an instant message-based chat can take place WITHIN the document? Why should you need to backtrack to introduce an extra person to a conversation or project, when they could just retrospectively see the stuff that's already happened?

The possibilities really are endless too. Like other recent projects of theirs, Google are planning to release all the code so that third-party developers, and even competitors can develop the concept further, and integrate it with other systems.

I'll warn you now, the following video is over an hour long, but if you've managed to read this far already, the presentation made by Google last week is definitely worth a watch...