The Google Wave video (below) shows a presentation given at the Google I/O Convention to introduce a pre-release version of this technology to the development community on May 28, 2009. The engineering team responsible for Google Maps is leading this effort.
The software is in beta, so there are some rough edges that crop up from time to time during the demo. It is a fairly long video (80 minutes), but it gets better as it goes along (don't bail after the first 15 minutes!)
I think this could (if it scales up nicely) really change how folks view eMail, Instant Messaging, and most Web 2.0 social networking applications.