Apps From The Serious To The Fun Go Google Wave

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Google's new online tool, Wave, marries real time communications with natural language tools to let users create a "wave" and add other users to that wave, all of whom can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets and feeds from other Web sources to replace common email and other traditional communication tools.

Google has asked developers to create their own APIs for the Wave offering, and several have done so. Many of their demos can be accessed by clicking here.

SAP, for instance, has shown a prototype of Gravity, which the company said provides real-time, cloud-based collaborative business process modeling within Google Wave.

Gravity, with the collaborative features of Google Wave, allows business process modeling activities to be propagated in near real-time to all other participants of the Wave, SAP said.

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In its demo of Gravity, SAP showed how two merging companies could re-engineer their business processes in order to capitalize from cross-selling opportunities. Gravity color-codes each individual modeler's content, shows the history of the model, and allows both asynchronous and synchronous editing. The results could also be imported into SAP Netweaver BPM for further refinement and execution. showed how Wave interacts with cloud platforms like its platform. As an example, it showed a fictitious company asking customers to register the products they purchased, and returned an e-mail address for support. That e-mail address was actually a Wave robot which gets information from the customer about a problem, identifies the customer, and tailors the interaction based on the customer's purchase and support history.

Should the customer request a live chat, Wave sends the request to the robot which then makes a request to to find an available representative. All the interactions between the customer and are included in the Wave, and can be embedded directly into a case detail page from which any support representative can carry on the conversation with the customer.

Google Wave is not only for serious business users.

LabPixies has extensions which allow multiple players to solve Sudoku puzzles together and see who is the best player in a group.

Ribbit, Mountain View, Calif., showed a beta of its Ribbit Message Gadget which allows Wave participants to connect to a Wave via a phone. The Ribbit Message Gadget displays a transcription of audio messages and attaches original audio message as MP3 files. It also includes an embedded player to let users listen to messages, with all messages and responses to requests from the Gadget automatically tracked by a Ribbit Message robot.

Other applications for which Google Wave extensions are being developed include the 6rounds live meeting point application from GixOO, an interactive itinerary application from Lonely Planet, a trip planning gadget from AccuWeather, and another trip planning application from Google Maps.