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Sunday, 09 May 2021

Google Maps navigator with Badria Tolba's voice -- why not?

Car-pooling and delivery applications are licensed to use Google Maps data, and to have a funny version of the navigator is not totally absurd

Eslam Omar , Monday 30 Dec 2019
Google Maps
Views: 6066
Views: 6066

"As much as we enjoy Badria’s films, we confirm that the Google Maps voice will not change and will continue to guide users in Egypt and Arabic speakers everywhere using its current voice."

The US tech giant Google has put an end to a three-day saga that took the social media in Egypt by storm following an announcement by Egyptian comedian Badria Tolba that she is set to record her version of Google Maps voice navigator.

Since Saturday the topic has been trending on social media, and local media and news outlets reported her announcement on Egyptian TV channel DMC, which urged the $300 billion company to deny the reports on Monday.

New app

Badria Tolba
One of Badria Tolba's quotes from 'Teer Enta' movie has been used by Google social media accounts

Badria Tolba told Ahram Online that her statements were "misunderstood", clarifying that she was talking about a new application still in the developing process, using Google Maps' data licence.

"The idea of using my voice on Google maps was originally suggested by fans across social media," the actress told  Ahram Online on Monday afternoon.

"We will record a trial version of my new application next week with many of the funny-tone instructions recommended by fans," she added.

Tolba revealed that a start-up is working on a project to use the comedian's voice in a navigation app. A number of car-pooling and delivery service start-ups are using the licence of Google Maps data in their service, and to have a funny version of the voice navigator is not totally absurd.

"Badria has just revealed the news early. We are still in the planning phase developing our presentation for a separate application with her voice using the Google Maps data," Rania Yehia explained to Ahram Online.

"Badria will be just a beginning. We're aiming to have a variety of comedians' voices. The user will eventually have the option to switch between Badria Tolba's voice to, for example, Seliman Eid or Mohamed Henedy. We have short and long term plans to expand regionally to finally have our versions of  the comedy voice navigations," Nour Morshedy, a partner and singer, revealed.

The Nafsana talk show host Tolba, who shot to fame with her role as Madiha Hatem in Hussein El-Imam's version of the Candid Camera, starred in tens of comedy movies and TV series, appealing to audiences with her spontaneous, unrestrained style.  

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