Two Israeli start ups have been selected as two of the six featured extensions for Google Wave. Google has launched Wave, its real-time communication and sharing tool, at the end of September for only 100,000 beta users, and each of them got eight invites. I was among the lucky ones to get invited, but I don’t feel like I’ve used the product to its full potential.
A “wave” is a combination of a chat and a document, where two or more people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps and more. In addition to the basic features (which are pretty cool), Google also launched a developer “app store” in the form of Wave Extensions, which are currently only six featured gadgets that ‘sit’ on top of Google Wave and enhance the product’s functionality.
Among the six featured extensions are two Israeli start ups, LabPixies and 6rounds:
6rounds provides Google Wave with a social video platform which they call the “live meeting point”. Using a combination of web cams and real time games, social activities and videos, 6rounds enables users to share a game, video-chat, shop together, browse YouTube and more. One can play with his contacts or get introduced to new people (interesting dating potential?). 6rounds is the first product of the GixOO platform, which can be embedded in any site through its developer API.
The company was founded in April 2008 and is led by co-founders Dany Fishel and Ilan Leibovitch, who together previously co-founded a start up called KwaKwa. Here’s a video explaining how you can use the extension:
LabPixies provides a gaming platform for Wave in the form of competitive Sudoku games. The company established a business by building cool widgets on top of open platforms such as iGoogle, My Yahoo, Hi5, etc. The gadgets range from simple tools such as calendars, news RSS feeds and to-do lists to entertainment and games. LabPixies also offers Ad Gadgets that help advertisers reach the audience in an interactive way.
LabPixies claims to have 40 million users, and it is certainly not the first time Google keeps an eye on the company. The Google Code Home has a case study from 2007 on the success of LabPixies’ widgets (coincidentally, all the banners on the site were showing ads for Google’s local products). The company was founded in 2006 by Ran Ben-Yair, Oded Poncz and Udi Graff. It has raised $1 million in angel funding to date.
Other Wave Extensions include:
- Ribbit brings telephone conference calls to Google Wave.
- Lonely Planet: Co-create an itinerary: choose points of interest — including Lonely Planet recommendations, organize, share, print, or export to My Maps
- AccuWeather: Select a location and date, and the gadget will return a forecast.
- Google Maps: Collaborate on a map of placemarks, paths, and shapes with other participants. Great for planning events and trips.