I fondly recall when I first used a GPS device in a rental car 3-4 years ago, and how novel the voice navigation was at that time… Well, years later, these devices still sounded pretty much the same, with some auto-bot female voice telling you that you’re approaching your next exit. BORING! Even then, I thought, “How cool would it be to have celebrity voices in this thing?”
Recently I was fortunate enough to receive Nokia smart phones to try out for 2 weeks at a time (Thanks, WOMWorld!), and my first was the 5800 Xpress Music (see my review here). The absolute best feature, in my humble opinion, was the OVI maps with FREE voice guided navigation. When I heard the announcement by Nokia of this feature, my first thought was “People! Better sell that Garmin stock!” Why would anyone buy a separate device SOLELY for navigation?
My particular “Ovi Maps story” isn’t that dramatic, nor exciting for that matter.
No, it did not save us from Bengal Tigers chasing us in India, or from getting lost at the Golden Triangle in Thailand, .. No, we’re in Texas, where I’ve lived for 30 years, yet I used the OVI maps almost every day, taking my daughter to school just a few miles from home. Why, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you! With OVI maps, you can choose between several male and female voices, of a variety of languages. While it was fun to listen to a Russian woman guide us to school for a day, we spent most of our time listening to the best voice of all, “THE SURFER DUDE!”
Emma and I found ourselves laughing our <ahem> heads off, and talking back to our surfer dude as he guides us around town, “Take a left turn. Not MY left, YOUR left, dude!” and “You’re approaching your destination. No need to thank me dude, it’s what I do.”
The OVI maps Surfer Dude literally kept my daughter’s attention with every trip for that two week period. She loved holding the phone, calling out impending street names, and giggling to and imitating the surfer dude voice… This dad is very happy.
Well, that’s my OVI maps story. Nokia, if you’re listening, better get Frank Caliendo to do celebrity voices, and you’ll see a bump in sales to geeky Dads like me!