TomTom to speak New Zealand English

TomTom to speak New Zealand English

GPS navigation vendor TomTom is set to launch a 'local' voice for its devices, to cater for the correct pronunciation of some New Zealand street names.

At a recent Auckland product launch, A/NZ marketing manager Chris Kearney told those attending that the voice had been in development for a while, but the release of a download was now weeks away.

Its Go-branded devices have been capable of providing spoken street names as part of existing voice-based turn-by-turn instructions, but the feature was not available locally while the voice was being developed.

The 'Wh' sound common in Maori place names was particularly problematic, Kearney says.

The company is also close to the local release of its IQ Routes feature, which uses road speed information captured from among the user community to offer the best route to get to particular places at certain times of the day.

If a user enables TomTom to collect information, the GPS device can be used to capture the actual driving time for a route and the estimated time, which until now was based on the speed limit. This data is then stored via TomTom’s Home software to build a profile of traffic conditions on streets at different times.

The vendor has also released slimline versions of its entry level One and One XL products, and the Go 930 model, in New Zealand.

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