The Original Voice of GPS Navigation

The newly relaunched Great Big Story conducted a wonderful interview with Karen Jacobsen, a singer whose distinctive voice gives traffic directions to millions with GPS navigation devices in their cars. Jacobsen stated that after moving to New York City from a small town in North Queensland, she answered an ad that suited her qualifications perfectly.

I wanted to become a professional singer and move to America and I did. Followed that dream to New York and not long after I moved there, there was an audition and a client was looking for a native Australian female voice over artist living in the northeast of the United States. I went to that audition and I got the job.

Jacobsen also recalled one word she had to say during the audition repeatedly.

There was a huge script a massive script and the team of engineers had figure out every combination of syllables possible for me to record so they could chop that up and create this voice system based on my speaking voice. I went into the booth and recorded these different lines. …I had to say the word “approximately” approximately 168 times in a row.

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Great Big Story sadly closed operations in September 2020. Then on February 15, 2023, they announced their relaunch. We at Laughing Squid are happy to see them return.

We are thrilled to usher in the next chapter of Great Big Story. Our mission is the same; to bring you the untold, the overlooked and the flat-out amazing.

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