The Future of Email?

Ever wonder what became of the technology behind Wave, Google’s short-lived effort to create a messaging service within its Gmail platform? Google pulled the plug on Wave in 2010, and since then, some of its developers have defected from Google to create their own new system, Fluent, which they’re touting as the “future of email.” In interview with the Sydney Morning Herald (the three team members at Fluent are all Australian), they outlined the flaws they see with the current email system, namely that it’s still too clunky of a process to check our mail. (Think about it: perhaps the only thing that’s changed about the process of logging in and checking your email inbox is that you no longer have to listen to that dastardly voice say “You’ve Got Mail.”)  They project that Fluent will help its users cut down on the time it takes them to read their emails by 20 percent. How exactly? Your inbox will read a lot like Twitter.

Fluent presents emails in a thread, but doesn’t limit the user to only 140 characters. Within the thread, the user can open attachments, click through to see photos and extended text, and manage more than one email account at a time. The program also allows users to search for emails in real time, using the Instant Search technology Google now uses in its main search bar, but doesn’ t yet have available in Gmail. Of course, in order to use Fluent, you’ll need a email account, and the only one compatible with the system is Gmail (but one would assume that as former Googlers, they’d have insight into how that email system works best). Right now, you can’t actually use Fluent quite yet, but you can sign up to get access to the site. In the meantime, pretend you’re in the future with their demo.  [via The Atlantic]