Is Geek Culture Invading Google Now?

When watching DVDs or Blu-rays you may occasionally notice small hidden scenes or features, tucked away on the menu screen and only available to the eagle-eyed. Due to the nature of these hidden treats, they’re nicknamed Easter Eggs.

With the increasing popularity of Google Now, programmers have recently taken the Easter Egg idea and applied it to Google’s voice activation service. The amusing answers hidden within Google Now may not be helpful, useful, or serve any real purpose, but in an age of geek culture, they certainly appeal to our nerdy side.

For Doctor Who fans, ask: “When am I?”

Google’s GPS is second to none, and can let you know where you are, and the direction you need to go pretty much instantly. Space and time are two different entities however, and Google can’t help with the latter. Asking Google when you are will prompt a reminder that time travel hasn’t been invented yet, letting you know, “The present, of course. Tardis functionality is still under development. Sorry.” This leaves us thinking, does Google know something we don’t?

How do you pick the best voice assistant? We put Google Now, Siri and Cortana head to head for a voice off!

For Star Trek fans, ask “Beam me up Scotty.”

We all know the voice of the Google Now lady. She may provide any number of useful answers and results, but she does vocalise her wisdom with all the poise of a drunk robot. It’s especially bizarre then to hear her attempt a Scottish accent. Prompting her with the most famous request in sci-fi history will have her reply, “I cannot do it captain, I don’t have the power!” with all the conviction of a deranged Mrs Doubtfire.

For Douglas Adams fans, ask: “What is the answer to life, the universe and everything?”

Anyone who’s read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy should already know the answer to this existential conundrum, but hearing it back from Google is a particular novelty. According to Adams, the answer was calculated by an enormous supercomputer over a period of 7.5 million years. Google Now can calculate the same answer in less than a second. The answer is 42. Obviously.

For Monty Python fans, ask “What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?”

Monty Python and the internet have been intimately entwined ever since the punch-line of their famous Spam sketch became the official terminology for junk emails. It therefore seems only fitting that Google Now includes its own nod to the comedy troupe. As predicted by anyone who’s seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the above question is met by “Did you mean the airspeed velocity of an African or European swallow?” Make sure not to stutter, or Google may fling you into the Gorge of Eternal Peril.

For Nintendo fans, ask “Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right”

Known as the Konami Code, the above sequence first appeared on 80s arcade game Gradius as a potential cheat, giving gamers a full series of power-ups. With the arrival of the internet, nostalgic nerds affectionately turned the phrase into a pop culture milestone. Typing this command into Google will also activate an invaluable cheat, as you’re informed “Cheat mode unlocked! Unlimited free Google Searches.” Score!

For CSI fans, ask “Who are you?”

The above question might be an attempt to get to know Google Now a little better, or it may be even more existential ponderings. For Google however it’s a nod to classic rockers, The Who. Released in 1978, the single “Where Are You?” was one of the bands biggest hits, and may also be recognised as the theme to CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Google Now replies to this question with, “Searching for oneself can take a lifetime, but a good place to start is classic rock.” Thanks for catching us out there, Google. We Won’t Get Fooled Again.

For further giggles, why not ask Google Now the following questions and commands. We won’t spoil the fun by telling you the results.

• What does the fox say?
• Make me a sandwich.
• Do a barrel roll.
• What’s your favourite colour?
• What is the loneliest number?