Google Wave arrives this week. I requested an invitation months ago but haven't heard yet whether I'm in the select few of the rumoured first 100,000 public invites. There's lots of excitement afoot, though, and on Twitter you can read it in many languages, which is especially pertinent since word has it that soon Google Wave will translate for you in real time. Imagine! And that's just one of many new functions we've never seen before.
People expect big things of Google Wave. Will it change literacy as we know it? I do think it's likely to make users more transliterate. Here's an excerpt from the Google Wave About page which explains some of what is really different about this evolutionary moment in the history of email:
What is a wave?
A wave is equal parts conversation and document. People can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.
A wave is shared.
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.
A wave is live.
With live transmission as you type, participants on a wave can have
faster conversations, see edits and interact with extensions in
…If you can't get your head around it, try watching the developer video. It's over-long and very detailed, but most of the information can be found in the first 15 minutes or so.