The voice of a GPS app used to be recorded in a studio — until TTS was developed
A GPS voice tells you to “turn left” or when to take an exit. In the early days of GPS Navigation apps all these standard announcements used to be prerecorded audio snippets from professional voice artists. The GPS software would concatenate the parts to form instructions like “In” — PAUSE — “100” — PAUSE — “meters” — PAUSE — “turn left!”.
Navigation companies like infoware would send voice artists to studios to record individual phrases like “100”, “150”, “500” etc. You would also need “turn left!”, “turn right!” and “keep left!” and so on and so forth. That was quite expensive as it was required for multiple languages too!
New Features Made Possible By Text To Speech (TTS)
And of course you couldn’t tell the driver to “turn right into Main Street”. Because then you would need to all the millions of street names. Also, you cannot add your own spoken instructions to a route. But this is a feature that would be very helpful for many navigation applications.
In our FollowMe navigation you can insert your own personal instructions in a route that your collegue will drive. This is being used in waste management for instance. Here, you can tell the driver to “Mind the low hanging branch!” which every rookie driver has slammed into at least once. In winter the voice output is used to give additional driving instructions at locations that need extra attention.
In the first video we show how Text-To-Speech software is used to insert custom voice instructions to improve route guidance and to master difficult driving tasks.
In the second video you can see how the voice navigation system is used at Leipzig Airport for winter road maintenance. With MapTrip FollowMe, the company GPSoverIP has built a solution that tells the drivers exactly where to sprinkle with salt and where not.