Pop Culture

Arnold Schwarzenegger and other fun voices for your GPS

Waze employs the Governator for its GPS app, the latest in a line of celebrity voices.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator GenisysArnold Schwarzenegger Terminator GenisysArnold Schwarzenegger provided his voice to the Waze GPS app, in character as the T-800 from "Terminator Genisys." (Photo: Paramount Pictures)

As long as we've had computer-generated voices giving us directions, GPS manufacturers have tried to make its devices and smartphone apps more fun to use. One idea is to use celebrity voices as a substitute for the usual haughty computer voice.

Waze, the GPS company that uses crowdsourcing to help drivers determine the best routes, recently employed Arnold Schwarzenegger to lend his voice to its smartphone app. The company, founded in Israel and owned by Google, partnered with Paramount Studios. The studio approved Schwarzenegger to perform as the Terminator for a promotion for the upcoming film "Terminator Genisys." USA Today has video of the Governator's recording session, where he utters phrases like "I'm looking for Sarah Conner. But we'll go to your destination first."

The folks at Waze have done this before; last year, they had Terry Crews of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" give enthusiastic directions. Speaking of enthusiasm, imagine having Kevin Hart yell directions at you. Waze did that, too:


Waze also hired Vlade Divac, former Los Angeles Lakers center and current Sacramento Kings general manager, to record directions. If you've ever wanted your directions to be spoken with a Serbian accent, Vlade is your guy:


Waze isn't the only one doing this. TomTom has been using celebrity voices on their GPS devices for years, and the Dutch company makes funny "behind the scenes" videos of its recording sessions. Here's one with Darth Vader, who wasn't happy with the engineer's instructions:


TomTom also used Bert and Ernie from "Sesame Street" for a recording session, with Ernie adorably annoying his roomie like he always does:


Voice Skins is one of the companies that licenses voices for TomTom, Garmin and other GPS manufacturers. Voice Skins worked to get both the "Sesame Street" and "Star Wars" voices into your GPS. But two of its most popular voices were the laid-back directions provided by Snoop Dogg...


... and the hopefully not misguided voice of Homer Simpson (let's hope he didn't just direct people to local donut shops).


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