If you’ve ever seen a Star Trek episode, you’ll know that “computer” always knew the answer to whatever the commander needed to know to run the starship, do battles with aliens and it even made tea…Earl Grey…hot. In business today, Google has taken on the role of answering questions and providing information. In fact, the company name has become a verb in our language and you can google just about anything on this easy-to-use search engine.
“Computer” gave you one answer, Google gives you many. But there’s an easy way to limit the responses and that’s by the way you search. If you only want to see responses on exactly what you’re searching for, then type the minus sign at the end of your search. Another way to limit your responses is to take advantage of Google’s specialized search sites, for example Google’s Public Data Explorer. This site allows you to search specifically on public statistics.
The Star Trek computer spoke every language. Google speaks 80. You can ask Google to translate a single word by typing “translate (word) to (language)” into the search bar and you’ll get the translated word. There’s also a Google application called Google Translate where you can type, speak or handwrite the phrase into your device – you can even take a picture of a sign or other text. Then it’s your choice to have Google speak the translated phrase or display it for you. Need an easy-to-use price-comparison site for business travel? Try Google Flight Search. Pick your starting point and destination—or destinations—on the map, and then pick your dates. When you pick the dates, be sure to pay attention to the prices on each date and Google’s graph of days with the cheapest tickets. Then, you can filter the results by flight length, airline, price, stops and more. When you find a flight you like, you can book it directly on the airline's site.
Like the Star Trek computer, Google provides definitions and conversions. In the search bar, type define (word) or convert (unit of measure), and you can even compare the nutritional values of one food item to another’s: just type compare.
So is Google the computer from Star Trek? With all these features, what do you think?