Dog Cow: The wave client "Google Wave" is their product, so yes, of course they have their own server. But GWFP is a completely open protocol, not a product or a service.
But honestly, even if the idea is a little abstract, the tech isn't that new. XMPP has been around for a while, has no one suggested in the past to base phpbb on another protocol rather than developing an entirely new tech? Is it that it's generally not a good idea to do, or is it something thats looked down on, or just something you think the community isn't ready to try / all that interested in?
Supposing there is interest in this area (to say there isn't any would be very wrong), would researching pre-development ideas as a separate product from phpBB4 be something that would fit the community, or would it be looked down upon to be trying a new idea for a different product? Has this been done in the past? Would it be possible to set something up like this?
Different teams have worked on different sub-projects such as the AutoMOD. We could put a team together towards a project under a different code name and discuss/brainstorm ideas in a separate forum. The best outcome being another forum solution to play with and possibly offer one day down the road, the worst possible outcome being a firm understanding of the wave protocol and how to integrate it with more phpbb-similar solutions, possibly to become an official extension to phpbb4 or a chunk of code to add to the code base.