In 200 Yards, Tell Your GPS to Shut Up Already

Developers finally realize personality as important as function
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2008 5:45 PM CDT
Palm, Inc.'s new GPS Navigator Car Kit, which includes an integrated GPS and a hands-free speakerphone, lets users get voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – GPS voices, for all their helpfulness to drivers, are still obnoxious and humorless. Now, after years of focusing on packing “navbots” with information, developers are realizing that friendliness counts, too, the Washington Post reports. “Personality, from an engineering perspective, is still an afterthought,” one says. “But every day it's becoming more and more important.”

Imagine a system that not only gets you where you’re going, but coordinates onboard intelligence with information from outside the car, all the while delivering the information in a style that responds to the driver’s needs. It’s close but not imminent, one developer reports. "We still have two years to make it happen," he says. "There's a certain amount of connectivity and intelligence required.”