November 24, 2011

Bert and Ernie will guide you there

Filed under: General,Technology by Orangemaster @ 11:52 am

TomTom records Bert and Ernie’s navigation voices from AmsterdamAdBlog on Vimeo.

True, after the ones with John Cleese and Darth Vader and Yoda, the format is getting repetitive. The adverts are long, but Bert and Ernie make it work for me. This one was created by Pool Worldwide, based in Amsterdam for Dutch product TomTom.

I heard a story (by story I mean I have no facts to back it up) from a Dutch friend that the product was named TomTom because in the United States, obviously their main target market, you cannot have a product named after a person, like Bob or Michael. Feel free to comment on this.

I’m not a fan of the TomTom anymore for a few reasons: it totally went blank on me once as I drove into Germany. Every other European country was on that thing, but German vanished. Bad road trip.

My smart phone does a better, more accurate job. Sure, I have make sure the phone stays plugged in while driving, but the instructions were always on time and the female Dutch voice didn’t sound like she wanted to be euthanized. I actually have several Dutch friends who use the Flemish voice on their TomTom’s because that’s how depressing she sounds.

But then there’s always Ernie and Bert.


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September 9, 2011

Satnav on smartphone guided by music

Filed under: Music,Technology by Orangemaster @ 4:53 pm

Aspiring boffins at the Eindhoven University of Technology have developed a smartphone app for Android that helps cyclists navigate to their destination by using music. By using the phone’s satnav, a cyclist can listen to their favourite tunes the way they always do, but, for example, when they have to turn left, the music will be harder on the left, allowing the cyclist to focus on the road.

The application can be used around the world and can be downloaded as of next week for lucky Android users. iPhone users will have to wait, something that is often the other way round.

I’ve seen or heard nothing of this app, but I already have some issues with it. Using satnav (GPS function) on a smartphone sucks energy out of a battery like a vampire sucks blood (comes with a warning, too), so I cannot imagine using something like this for a real long bike ride that would require any serious directions. Is this something we really need? Will the app respond fast enough or even properly? Some of the best satnavs for cars have problems with certain countries and small roads. When do people need a map when they’re on a bike? That’s right, for a long ride. By then your phone will have died and you’ll have to sing the rest of the way. And I’m not even going to get into people who are hard of hearing or easily distracted.

If anyone uses this in the near future, please tell us about it.


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