Google first demonstrated Wave at the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, California, in May. The product will initially be available to approximately 100,000 beta testers. This closed group will help the company find any bugs in the application before it is released to the public later this year.
The application was created by brothers Jens and Lars Rasmussen, the same pair who developed Google Maps. The Rasmussen brothers hope Google Wave will eventually replace email as the main form of communication via the Internet.
Using Wave, email-like communications can be edited by several users simultaneously. Users can also chat about specific sections of Wave documents in real time. Should a person join the conversation after it has started, they can replay everything they've missed.
The product has been cheered by many tech bloggers. However, there are some concerns that the application may be too complicated for the average or mainstream Web user.
The Rasmussens describe the product in much greater detail in an hour and 20 minute video, available at http://wave.google.com/.