The business and culture of our digital lives,
from the L.A. Times

« Previous Post | Technology Home | Next Post »

Bert and Ernie join Snoop Dogg, Darth Vader as the voice of Garmin

November 18, 2011 |  1:21 pm


Parents, 3-year-olds and grown-ups with a strong sense of nostalgia -- we've got news for you: Sesame Street's dynamic duo Bert and Ernie are now available to tell you how to get to the closest Home Depot.

The beloved Muppets are the latest addition to the choir of recognizable voices that Garmin users can have to override the default lady who gives directions in an emotionless deadpan --"Turn left," "get in the right lane," "make a legal U-turn."


Ask Bert and Ernie to give you directions and it sounds like this:

Ernie: Proceed to the highlighted route.

Bert: Wheels don't fail me now!


Ernie: U-turn ahead, Bert.

Bert: Just me turn?

Ernie: All of us Bert!

Now that's more cheerful!

The new Bert and Ernie voice was made with the Sesame Workshop in conjunction with Locutio Voice Technologies and is available for $12.95.

It's definitely a neat gimmick, and might buy you some goodwill with young children on a long drive, but will tricks such as this be enough to keep Garmin relevant as more people have smartphones with navigation capabilities? Unclear.

Still, you've got to respect the voice selection. Other Garmin voice options include Snoop Dogg, "The Simpsons'" Mr. Burns and our personal favorite Darth Vader, who delivers lines like "Proceed as indicated. Don't make me destroy you" and "You have reached your destination. Impressive. Most impressive," with a dose of evil attitude.


Lost? May Yoda and Darth Vader guide you

Bert and Ernie: Just friends, not gay, will not marry

Cookie Monster storms Twitter as @sesamestreet gains a following

-- Deborah Netburn