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The Computer Electronics Show (CES) is underway, and the first navigation item to hit the wires is this: the Garmin Voice Studio.

The software enables Nuvi owners to record their own voice for basic navigation instructions. Garmin says the PC-based application will take about 20 minutes to complete, but when you're done you can tell yourself when to turn instead of that computer generated voice that dominates directions. While the program will allow you to voice directions like "turn right in one quarter mile" but for obvious reasons you won't be able to voice text-to-speech for specific directions like reading street names. Additionally, Garmin is releasing an ecoRoute cable that ties into your vehicles ECU to help you tread lighter on the gas pedal and record the results. Engadget tells us that both programs will not work for 3xx and 6xx series navigation systems, but other Garmins should work just fine.

We're guessing that the more creative types among us will find some unique ways to voice directions including some stuff that wouldn't pass FCC guidelines. Borrowing someone else's Garmin long enough to program your own unique version of directions could be a lot of fun, too, but that could get you into a bit of trouble. Press release after the break.

[Source: Garmin via Engadget]


Find Your Voice, Find Your Destination with Garmin® Voice Studio™

OLATHE, Kan./January 5, 2010/Business Wire - Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, today announced Voice Studio, a free and easy-to-use PC application that lets anyone record their own voice to create custom pre-recorded navigation prompts for use on compatible Garmin navigation devices. The application will be featured in the Garmin booth (South Hall 4#35832) at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.

"Voice Studio lets users customize their nüvi to give directions in familiar voices," said Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president for worldwide sales. "Whether it's a friend, a spouse, or the kids, now you'll always be able to take that special person with you wherever you travel. And you can share your customized voices with other nüvi owners, too."

Simply download the free Voice Studio application from http://www.garmin.com/voicestudio and install it on a PC. Users can then record a few dozen phrases, and edit them directly within the Voice Studio application. To achieve the best quality recordings, an external microphone is recommended. Once complete, the voice file is loaded onto a compatible Garmin personal navigation device. The entire process typically takes less than 30 minutes.

Combined with free and fun icons from the Garmin Garage (http://www8.garmin.com/vehicles/), Garmin customers can personalize their devices to a degree that no other navigation provider can match. Voice Studio is compatible with all nüvis except the nüvi 300 and 600 series. Voice Studio does not provide text-to-speech recordings.

To learn more about Voice Studio and Garmin's other products, go to www.garmin.com and www.garmin.blogs.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Rally style navigation might spice things up a bit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I sure don't want to hear myself talk. I see a big secondary market in sexy voices full of double entendre. I'd be making wrong turns just to hear how bad I am.
      • 5 Years Ago
      TomTom had this features to record and use your own voices for a while. Unless Garmin added something extra to this feature, this does not seem to be the first instance of this 'feature'.
      Helen Sanders
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm gonna buy one for my husband so I can finally tell him how to drive. It will be worth every penny. Can't wait to tell him when he's wrong, too. Oh sweet love!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hope the cops don't read mine. Evidence of a heavy foot could be costly.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A hundred fifty bucks for the stinkin' ecoRoute cable? Ouch! I just bought a 255WT over the holidays, so I'd like to try one of those out, but not at $150. Come down to $25, and we'll talk.

      Right now what I'd like is a way to stick favorites into existing categories, like adding new hospitals into the Hospitals category, instead of them being dumped into All Favorites.

      As far as voices go, you can already download some, like "Squirrely" and "Yeti", from Garmin.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would like to hear Kiefer Surtherland and when you miss the turn he would say Damit!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Anyone here seen Robin Williams "Weapons of Self Destruction"? Remember the "Scottish GPS" part? "TURN LEFT HERE... YA MISSED IT YE IDIOT!"

      I would so do that...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think they should program it based on age lol! Seriously, when will Garmin give me the option to give me Route numbers? I drive on RT 16 through five towns, my Garmin 760 only gives me street names, either give me both or option to turn it on. And fix the SD card compatibility, it says unlimited capacity but they still only recommend 2 GB. I ended up using my 16 GB SDHC card for my PSP.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I see a closet industry for sexy female British voice artists
      • 5 Years Ago
      I want Samuel Jackson's voice.

      "If you don't slow this car down, I will strike down with great vengeance and furious anger"
      • 5 Years Ago
      Let's take Garmin even further! How about people get to pick a celebrity voice for their traveling pleasure. I could just hear someone like Barry White giving directions. The possibilities are endless. Or how about Pres. Obama telling you to turn to the left! Or Ricky Henderson saying:"Rickie said to turn right."
      • 5 Years Ago
      FTFA: While the program will allow you to voice directions like "turn right in one quarter mile" but for obvious reasons you won't be able to voice text-to-speech for specific directions like reading street names.

      uh... what obvious reasons?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because... it would a *little* longer than 20 minutes for you to input every possible street name and number into the unit.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Do the TTS files have every street name in America in them? Seems like that would be a fairly large file.

        Or are they using some syllable-magic when they generate the street names?

        I suspect the latter, given some of the odd pronunciations I've heard in other TTS uses. Admittedly, my experience with Garmin devices is limited (haven't spent much time with the wife's 765T).
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