By Stephanie Ciccarelli
July 30, 2009
Do you have a GPS (global positioning satellite) in your car?
Perhaps you've taken a special interest in the voice of your GPS.
Maybe you're even the voice talent behind a GPS!
Today we're going to take a closer look at voices and how they are used to help us navigate the open road.
GPS systems can be standalone but a growing number of vehicles are now coming equipped with an internal GPS, usually providing you with one GPS voice, and only one way that the voice gives you directions (or delivers their lines).
I've heard of GPS systems that give you a choice between two voices, a male voice and a female voice, GPS systems that are recorded in different languages, celebrity GPS voices, and even GPS systems that make you feel like you are part of a television series such as the Knight Rider GPS on the market featuring KITT's voice.
While there are a great many voices out there recording for GPS systems, it occurred to me that people driving the cars might want to hear their GPS deliver the directions in different moods in addition to being able to potentially choose which voice they hear.
For instance, maybe you'd prefer a gentle, encouraging voice to guide you that helps you to keep your cool if you get lost or miss a turn or an exit.
On the flip side, maybe you'd like to hear a sarcastic or deprecating voice that reprimands you for failing to follow their directions. Don't think there would be a market for this? Consider the people who will pay extra money to go to a restaurant to have the staff insult them and pour drinks on their head... this does exist, believe it or not!
If a GPS system could respond with more varied emotion, that would certainly be interesting and present greater value to the customer. The GPS voices I've heard deliver directions generally do so in the same tone. I'm sure this is done on purpose to preserve neutrality and consistency, especially if the voice is representative of a brand.
Does a GPS need to be re-engineered to convey different emotional states or possess artificial intelligence? No, we don't need to go that far. All that's needed is some extra vocal direction and script modifications so that when the voice artist is in the booth, they have more to work with when recording different interpretations of the script.
Do you find that there is enough variety in the voice over, or do you feel that there could be more options?
Let's discuss this now at VOX Daily!
Vox Daily offers a daily dose of voice acting news, articles, tutorials, interviews, intelligent conversation and business ideas for voice talent and voice actors.
Becoming a voice actor, working from your own home recording studio and auditioning for voice-over jobs is within your reach!