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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Yoda seemed a better choice for co-pilot than David Hasselhoff



More than a year ago I told you about some Star Wars voices you could buy for your TomTom GPS. At the time, the voices were exclusive to TomTom and recently some of those voices were released for the Garmin GPS line too. Garmin currently has Darth Vader and Yoda voices available, and each voice comes packaged with a Tie Fighter or X-wing Starfighter vehicle icon, respectively, for $12.99. You can buy these on the Garmin site, or you can go to Spot it Out where there are even more choices for both TomTom and Garmin.


On the Spot it Out site, For Garmin you can choose from Vader, Yoda, Mr. T (I pity the fool), KITT the car (from Knight Rider), David Hasselhoff and a few others. For the  TomTom GPS you can choose from Yoda, Vader, Homer Simpson, Mr. Burns, Snoop Dogg and a few others. TomTom also has C-3PO and Han Solo as part of the Star Wars voice collection, but they only offer those on their site. There's also a Star Wars game and free startup screens, sounds and car icons on their site.

I was in the market for a new GPS and noticed Best Buy was giving away a credit for one free voice at Spot it Out with the GPS I had selected, the Garmin nüvi 2460LMT. The purchase came with a gift guard for Spot it Out and I redeemed that for the Yoda voice. The video below is from the TomTom site, but you'll get the idea.

So Yoda and I went out for spin this morning and at first his scratchy voice and backward grammar was a little alarming. When my daughter first heard it she said "what is that?" and declared my new gadget annoying. I asked Yoda to use a Jedi mind trick on her but it didn't work. Once I dropped her off, me and the little green guy had a great time and his directions were impeccable. He did keep mumbling something about the Dagobah system and some guy named Luke, but other than that he was spot on. My favorite phrase?

"When 900-years-old you reach, navigate as well you will not. Hmm." ~ Master Yoda

There was no way I was picking Vader and I'm not sure how how much further David Hasselhoff can ride his Knight Rider and Bay Watch fame. I'm not sure how he landed the Garmin voice gig but I hear the chicks in Europe really dig him, so maybe he's there for them.

voicestudioicon2.jpgOne cool thing I found on the Garmin site was the Garmin Voice Studio. It's a free software download (for Windows only) you can use to make voice packs for Garmin GPS units. That got me thinking about making some other cool GPS voices, like Bluto from the movie Animal House or Maverick from Top Gun or even Ferris Bueller. How about a Harry Potter voice pack? I need to get on a Windows machine and check that out.


[Last modified: Friday, August 5, 2011 3:22pm]


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