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You may soon hear the voice of Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan giving you voice directions on Google Maps. According to a report by Mid-Day, Google has approached the Bollywood star to use his instantly-recognisable baritone to give voice directions when navigating using Google Maps.
Google Maps’ voice directions are presently offered using an AI-enabled male or female voice and is usually kept muted for its annoying tone. But then again, the deal has not been signed yet, so we don’t know for sure it is going to happen.
“Amitabh Bachchan has the most influential and recognisable baritone. Hence, he is the best choice for the voice of Google Maps. He has been approached, but the contract has not been signed yet,” Mid-Day reported.
The iconic Bollywood star has been offered an exorbitant sum of money to come onboard the project. But the deal is not finalised, yet. “It’s up to Mr. Bachchan now,” the report states.
While the collaboration with the Amitabh Bachchan will be a first for both, it’s not the first time Google has roped in famous voices in the movie and music industry to power its voice-enabled products. Popular stars like John Legend and Issa Rae have lent their voices to the Google Assistant, but they are region-restricted only to the US and a few other countries. They’re not available in India.
Other voice assistants like Amazon Alexa also roped in the legendary voice of Samuel L. Jackson which users need to pay to enable, making it a steady source of income for the companies.
Google Maps also rolled out new COVID-19 centric features for users in India and other regions. The app will now tell you the guidelines to follow when using public transport, show places that are crowded and you should avoid, as well as show COVID-19 checkpoints to drivers.