January 24, 2007

What is Text to Speech on a GPS and is it Worth it?

A lot of readers have been asking about what Text to Speech or TTS is and why it's a good thing on a GPS. As more and more people are considering getting a GPS, the emails are piling up on this subject of Text to speech. Right now, Text to speech is available on many mid to high end GPS units, and it simply uses a voice engine to generate speech based on the text that needs "reading", so it will tell you "Turn right on Maple Street in 400 yards" instead of just "Turn right in 400 yards." It does well on many "normal" words that are easier to predict what they should sound like, but there are some names that are farther afield, and the units sometimes have a tough time with those words; understandable, but not perfect.

It is certainly a big help when navigating, and its worth paying more money for if its in your price range. Text to speech is particularly helpful when you are navigating in a denser area where there are a lot of streets and the added assurance of the spoken street name helps you pick which street to turn onto. I think that it's also a big advantage for older drivers who find it important to concentrate on the road more, and the spoken word road specific directions are a big advantage.

See a related article: Garmin C340, C550 stopped announcing Street Names?

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Posted by Scott Martin at January 24, 2007 12:11 PM

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