[wikilike_img src=|width=158|align=thumb tright|caption=Mr. T wants to tell you where you can go|url=]

I reBlogged this over on Eyebeam’s reBlog site, but I want to capture it here on the research toaster’s idea notebook.

Engadget reports on “Navtones”:

Forget about that generic voice that came with your
GPS. If you want your directions to be delivered with attitude, why not have Mr. T show you the way? Or, for that “Easy Rider� experience, let Dennis Hopper rev you up. The two are just some of the
celebrities whose voices are being digitized as downloadable “navtones� for use with GPS systems. Developer Wanderlust
Media is a little vague on which GPS systems support the custom voices, requesting that potential customers help out by
“clicking your navigation manufacturer and sending them a quick note as to why your system deserves special attention.�
We’ll hold off on an endorsement until we find out more — though we do think we might actually get lost a little less
often with Mr. T shouting at us to “pay attention to what I’m saying! You gonna get the directions … you gonna be there
safely, or else!�

Why do I blog this? Whether or not this enterprise is on the up-and-up, having our personal, portable, mobile, pocketable devices have some character and sensibility is an enticing proposition. If the market for ringtones, call-back tones, and sticker-laden laptops and cellyphones is any indication, we want more personality for our devices. It seems to me that, beyond just telling you when you missed your turn, this intimates a richer kind of location-awareness experience, perhaps coupled with story telling, education or other possibilities.

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