Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Personification of Tom-Tom

Ever since we began our journey we have been guided with the help of a Sat-Nav. The beauty of these devices is that you can program different voices to read you directions. While it would be wonderful if Snoop Lion or Arnold Schwarzenegger were available choices they also were only available to premium subscribers. However. We had plenty of voices left to choose from. The default voice was Serena (who had a voice that sounded like a computer). We very quickly tired of her and moved on to Tim (The Brit). His accent provided some general amusement, but he was no James (The Australian). He turned out to be the group favorite and also had the most "proper" phrases. For example, "next chance you get pull a U-eeee" or "Make sure you toss those back seat drivers out and bear right."

Another fun curveball we came across was the sound of a cow, aka moo-ing. Apparently, whoever last rented the car changed the factory settings to moo at any warnings the navigation system had to tell us. We definitely had a good laugh once we realized what it was. Though we did not realize what the moo-ing meant until a day or two later…

With such a wonderful experience the first time around, we made sure when we arrived in the North our new car had a directional unit. The initial voice was very lame and uneventful so it was quickly changed to something a bit more flavorful. Sean (The Irishman), is a delightful little man who doesn't take our ignorance very well. The other day there was an unknown chemical spill on the motorway and so we had to improvise a way around it. This was DEFINITELY not the way Sean wanted us to go. He made it extremely clear. So for the next 20 minutes or 11 miles he continued yelling at us. He used every different phrase he could think of to trick us into U-turning. "Go around the round about, fourth exit (when there were only 4 exits)" "Turn right, then right again" Luckily, we out smarted him and he eventually rerouted. 

Ever since we have had our programmable GPS it seems we have personified the voice into a live person. When we are upset that Tim (The Brit) led us down a 5 foot wide street with a moat on one side and construction on the other, we yell at Tim. When James (The Aussie) said something funny we thanked him for the joke and laughed away. Or when Sean (The Irishman) kept yelling at us we told him he had too much to drink at the Irish pub and to properly reroute us. They have been a wonderful source of entertainment, direction, and we cannot wait to make more memories with our A.I. voices.

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