TODAY   |  August 04, 2013

'Recalculating route': Meet the voice behind your GPS

Anyone who has used GPS is accustomed to that voice that may seem to be constantly “recalculating route.” TODAY’s Jenna Wolfe found the woman behind one of the most downloaded GPS voices, and then put her navigational skills to the test.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> about gps right now. a lot of us depend on it to get where we're going. be honest, how many times have you wanted to scream at that so calm voice trying to get you where you're going?

>> i wouldn't be going out on a self-deprecating limb here to say that i'm mildly directionally challenged. so when i had the chance to spend the day with karen jacobson, the voice of garmin's gps , we've all heard her voice before, decided to put her recalculating voice to the test.

>> please drive to highlighted route. recalculating.

>> traffic is the worst.

>> recalculating. the.

>> for me getting from point "a" to point "b" is usually a disaster. well, i'm not in that lane, lady. how am i supposed to turn right?

>> in a quarter mile turn right on west 52nd street .

>> for karen jacobson or australian karen , one of the voices on garmin's gps device. i am directionally challenged.

>> my directions to you are to stay calm and consistent.

>> calm and consistent.

>> that's right.

>> two very important words for me. so i figured if i can't beat gps , maybe i could join gps . one quarter mile , about a half mile, given or take a half mile, not really sure. with a coveted spot on the menu. proceed to the highlighted route. not that much traffic ahead but enough that it will probably give you a headache. turn left . where are you going? i can't turn down there, can i? oh, 0 i should have. you're right. use your judgment. sorry. obnoxious. i still needed a little more direction from karen . bottom line, karen , you can get me anywhere that i immediate to go in a calm and consistent manner.

>> that's right. and when needed we will recalculate. recalculating.

>> you'd be surprised how much that happens when i'm behind the wheel. and because i couldn't just take her word for it, i decided to put karen 's skills to the ultimate test. navigating new york city . it if you are telling me, karen , you can get me anywhere, take me some place i can get a sandwich?

>> carnegie deli . arriving at carnegie deli .

>> it's great. thank you. it's perfect, don't you think? let's go to the statue of liberty or something.

>> let's do it. calculating to the statue of liberty .

>> i have to tell you, i am 100% convinced in this calm and consistent stuff that you've been trying to sell all day.

>> you know, you can recalculate it anytime you get lost.

>> i think i'm going to be okay from here on out. so what was my gps takeaway? if you stay on course and just keep going forward, eventually that road, more or less traveled, will reach your home.

>> you've reached your destination. or at least it will lead you somewhere. by the way, if you have any interest in doing this garmin has software technology that allows you to record your own voice so you can be your own gps . i'm not promising