Friday, May 24, 2019


My better half has a newish phone that lets the GPS map directions on her phone be spoken aloud. The user gets to determine what kind of voice they want their phone to talk to them with when telling them how to get from point A to point B. She chose Nigel with his pommy accent and inability to pronounce a handful of words like College or Boulevard. We trust that voice quite a bit, usually.

Last night my sister and parents got in from Virginia at a little after 2200 and after unloading the rental car, my sister drove it to the local international airport a zillion miles away on the other side of metroparkcentralis in order to get it back before it turned into a pumpkin at midnight. The rental car return corral is in the middle of nowhere but you have to go around 6 sides of the square in order to get to the other side of the interstate that separates the airport from civilization. I followed in my car with my ancient non-talking iphone 4.

In the dark that's a challenge for people that don't do it that often and never at night so my sister engaged her talking GPS map with a loud female voice that shouted directions at us when she dropped off the rental and joined me in my car and her phone directed us as to when to turn and U-turn and go right, etc. A dismal contrast with Nigel. The new voice physically grated on my nerves.

So tonight I was wondering, is there out there a utility or app that allows the user to select other voices to shout at the operator? Is there the shrieking, outside-voice screaming rough English that is barely understandable and torture to the ears as the volume and pitch increase spoken by many in this country? How about an angry Scotsman screaming directions in something not at all like English? One could have some fun pulling those together and stealthily installing them on friends devices.

A simulator my brother had that we played around with long ago was, F-18. I used to hear, "terrain, terrain" a lot just before I crashed into the ground. I can hear the voice now screaming, "pull up ye daft bastard! Your crashing into the ground you stupid shite!"

Now that I have a nephew working in that realm for Google, I'll have to ask him if they've looked into 'diversifying' the voices and language skills employed by the apps they offer. I'm sure that they have because we all know that Google is all about Diversity.


capt fast said...

nay a scotsman's accent, try Welsh with a touch of anger and sarcasm to delight your ear and gather your undivided attention.

Anonymous said...

Oh, nae!
I'd love to hear someone like Billy Connolly (political flake that he is) yelling at me when I miss a turn, or perhaps some Aussie saying, "I told ya, ya bastahd, ya shoulda taken that last turn!"
Of course, I've only been using GPS for about 2 months (& I don't trust it; I carry maps in my work truck). Most of the time I keep it turned toward the windshield & silenced. I'd use it if they'd incorporate such options.
--Tennessee Budd

capt fast said...

Oh! Maps! Excellent devices used by navigators of yesteryear...many are the advantages of maps for those without a keen inbred sense of direction or a wifely unit to provide verbal guidance and visual aide in reconing the proper paths to take when one is in doubt. also, the maps batteries never weaken. I remember in my youth plotting a dead reckoning course with windage and current taken into account only to have my ears boxed for not having proper regard for magnetic variation. Yes, maps.