Dutch navigation equipment maker TomTom NV(TOM2.AE) Friday said it is abandoning efforts to develop a Bob Weir voice for its GPS navigation systems. The Grateful Dead-themed voice package was scheduled for release in July, but failed important usability tests in late development, a company spokesman said.
“The recording with Bob went well, but the software had a difficult time parsing his phrases,” said Molly Vandergeld. “The simplest of directions were garbled and users were getting hopelessly lost.”
One tester, speaking on condition of anonymity, said “At first the directions were clear. Then it would bunch up all the words in a direction so I couldn’t understand it. After a while it started forgetting the words. It finally led me to a bus stop where I abandoned the car and got on the bus.”
TomTom had a success with its Star Wars-themed voice download series, and was hoping for similar sales with the Grateful Dead series. Vandergeld declined to comment on future plans for the series.