As Google says, Google Wave is an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration. A wave can be both a conversation
and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. People can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. Any participant can reply anywhere in the message, edit the content and add participants at any point in the process. Then playback lets anyone rewind the wave to see who said what and when. With live transmission as you type, participants on a wave can have faster conversations, see edits and interact with extensions in real-time.

Now what exactly is all this hype about WAVE all about?

Google, the master innovator, brings to us what we like the most, networking, amidst our hectic schedule. Like Orkutting, this is one step better. Here the user gets to network, chat, discuss issues/hobbies/work together with his friends/colleagues offline. All the web previously was dominated by online chat. But given the tormenting schedule each professional has, in this cyberspace, being online and chat-ready all the time becomes impossible. So discussion amongst a social group using standard chat clients like Yahoo messenger, Google Talk or Skype becomes troublesome. While standard Social networking sites allow discussion in thread, that may be accessible to a lot of people, with whom, even within the same community, the user may not be very keen to share the information. So by using WAVE, the user gets to control exactly who would be able to get access to the information, even within a social group. It is this very need of privacy where ever needed and sharing of discussion that Google enables with WAVE.

Google delivers the hype it creates, and so much more. The WAVE is not just a platform for text communication as other onlinie chat platforms provided, but it is also a platform for multimedia communications, an area that social networking sites are yet to provide to their users. While media and information overload was getting to be a problem for many users of social networking sites, Google has provided us an exact SMART solution. Technologically, what WAVE provides the users is an open communications protocol. Thus with their beta launch, the developer instance of Google Wave is now available for experimental interoperability testing with other wave providers.

WAVE as of now combines Gmail, Orkut, Google Docs and Youtube into an interesting free-form workspace that could be used to write documents collaboratively, plan events, play games or discuss a recent news.Wave has a lot of innovative features, but here are just a few:

  • Real-time: In most instances, you can see what someone else is typing, character-by-character.
  • Embed-ability: Waves can be embedded on any blog or website.
  • Applications and Extensions: Just like a Facebook application or an iGoogle gadget, developers can build their own apps within waves.
  • Wiki functionality: Anything written within a Google Wave can be edited by anyone else, because all conversations within the platform are shared.
  • Open source: The Google Wave code will be open source, to foster innovation and adoption amongst developers.
  • Playback: You can playback any part of the wave to see what was said.
  • Natural language: Google Wave can autocorrect your spelling, even going as far as knowing the difference between similar words, like “been” and “bean.” It can also auto-translate on-the-fly.
  • Drag-and-drop file sharing: Just drag your file and drop it inside Google Wave and everyone will have access.

Thus Google  wraps up all the services it offers on this single platform. Maybe, just maybe, they could allow the import of already created cyber media from their own products, like import of mail from GMail.

This is the time to wonder: WHAT IS NEXT?

By Kar

Dr. Kar works in the interface of digital transformation and data science. Professionally a professor in one of the top B-Schools of Asia and an alumni of XLRI, he has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in reputed institutes. He is a regular contributor of Business Fundas and a frequent author in research platforms. He is widely cited as a researcher. Note: The articles authored in this blog are his personal views and does not reflect that of his affiliations.