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.