Google on Wednesday will send out more than 100,000 invitations to developers to preview Google Wave, a new communications and collaboration tool that Google plans to release next year. 

Similar to a bulletin board system, Google Wave lets users create shared, ongoing, real-time conversations called Waves. The application makes it easy for users to share videos, photos and maps.

Google Wave has useful features such as playback, which allows participants who jump into an ongoing conversation to read the previous conversation. All the participants in a wave can add more participants, but participants also can send private replies to each other.

Google Wave offers many features common in document authoring tools such as automatic spelling corrections, inline editing and change tracking.

Google Wave works with a variety of browsers, including Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Under development by Google's Sydney office for more than two years, Google Wave was previewed at the Google I/O Developer Conference in May. Google said then that Google Wave will be an open source product that features a new communications protocol.

Google said it will send the 100,000 invitations to preview Google Wave to developers, early users of Google Wave and customers of Google Apps.