8/14/2007

When I am King: Miss Directions

When I am King...

GPS devices will be more human, more interactive, and less emotionally draining.

I don't own a GPS system now and I'm not planning to anytime soon. Why? Because it'd be like caving and asking for directions. Constantly.

I know that I don't know how to get everywhere. Heck, I sometimes end up at the wrong house coming home at night (really freaks out the lady in that other house, but she's getting used to it). But I really hate having to ask for directions. So I get by, just driving around the general vicinity where I'm heading until I eventually figure it out.

Using a GPS device would be like asking for directions non-stop. Sure, it might be in the privacy of my own car, but it's really no better personally than stopping at the gas station and asking which way to go – at every single corner along the way.

I just can't take that pride hit on every journey. I might be physically on the right path, but I'd be emotionally lost.

But what I could use is a little company in the car. I get tired of the radio, always playing songs I don't like, or the CD player, always playing songs I've heard too many times. Audio books are an improvement, but they feel so impersonal, like they're not really reading to me, but just to some microphone in a studio. What I'd like is something more interactive, more like another person in the car, commenting on things that are happening during the drive.

When I am King, I will introduce a new device that caters to this kind of driver; the kind that doesn't want to be told what to do, but is hankering for a little company along the scenic route. I envision a system that doesn't give directions so much as commentary. The “Miss Directions” system would never volunteer directions, but would instead converse with the driver about the journey, just like a spouse, saying such helpful things as:

“You took a left? Why did you take a left? You should have just gone straight.”
“[Cough] A right turn? Whatever...”
“Why are you going this way?”
“Where do you think they live, in the Arctic?”
“Are we supposed to be driving in circles?”
“You know where they live, right?”
“We'd already be there if we'd gone my way.”
“I know a better way to go, but we'll take yours instead. We always do.”
“Just because that light had a right arrow didn't mean you had to turn right.”
This way? Huh. You're the driver...”
and,
“Shouldn't we be there by now?”

There are a multitude of other modes that you can put the system into that mimic different kinds of trips. For example, if you are taking a long road trip alone and you miss your children, Miss Directions can help you out with such conversation as:

“Are we there yet?”
“When are we going to get there?”
“Are we there yet?”
“How long have we been driving?”
“Are we there yet?”
“I gotta pee”
“Are we there yet?”
“I'm hungry. Really hungry.”
“Are we there yet?”
“I'm so bored.”
and, of course,
“Are we there yet?”

The best thing about this system is, unlike the passengers it represents, you can shut it off. After all, you own it; it's your Global Possession System.
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