Knight Rider GPS Unit: “Hello, Michael. Where Would You Like To Go Today?”

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This is a triumph of product tie-ins. The Knight Rider GPS by mio teams a working, turn-by-turn dashboard GPS unit with the soothing, confident voice of KITT himself, Mr. William Daniels. The unit will actually ask you, “Hello, Michael. Where do you want to go today?” when you turn it on. Needless to say, it isn’t out yet, but will be released for $270 when the time comes. I’d pay twice that for a Will Arnett version, though.

Knight Rider-themed GPS system with authentic KITT voice [Autoblog via Gadget Lab]

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18 Responses to Knight Rider GPS Unit: “Hello, Michael. Where Would You Like To Go Today?”

  1. Joel Johnson says:

    I think part of the problem is that the phrases are really all so benign. “Where would you like to go today?” and “Where do you want to go today?” are so similar as to be indistinguishable. And when I see the former I certainly don’t think “Oh, hey, Microsoft!” It’s not that the phase is something KITT would or wouldn’t have said; it’s that it’s a perfectly reasonable thing for a GPS to say.

  2. Argon says:

    Well to fans of a TV series it certainly DOES matter. Or would you buy a Star Trek talking alarm clock whose alarm goes “Beam me up, Welshman?”

    I’m not blaming anyone here. (I can’t really say though that this kind of hierarchical error propagation leaves me impressed with the factual reliability of the blogosphere as a whole.)

    The cognitive implications are rather interesting. It seems the incessant bombardment with advertising slogans conditioned our brains to ignore them. We remember their content (in this case 14 years after MS introduced it). We can subconsciously read and recognize them. We even try to find and expand patterns in phrases that seem familiar.

    But on a conscious level we’re totally screening it all out. Even in a completely unrelated context, an ad-like phrase becomes “invisible”, and we don’t recognize its content even if it’s misquoting something else.

  3. cerement says:

    Now imagine other themed tie-in GPS units …

    HAL GPS
    “I’m sorry Dave, I can’t give you those directions.”

  4. strider_mt2k says:

    -and if it hacks as easily as other Mio offerings it should do even MORE cool stuff.

    My little ol’ Mio C230 is quite accomplished as a media player as well as a couple of other neat functions!

  5. ZippySpincycle says:

    I wouldn’t want William Daniels giving me directions as K.I.T.T., but I would probably pay good money to have Dr. Daniel Craig tell me where to go. Snippily.

  6. jennfrank says:

    Don’t worry, Argon. It’s an interesting thought, and we all secretly know the slogan like it’s muscle memory. You’re not weird.

  7. License Farm says:

    @ #2 Enochrewt: BBG brings the entertainment news, I didn’t know Will Arnett was going to be KITT’s voice, much less that they were making a new Knight Rider.

    Actually, Arnett was going to be the voice of the new KITT, except then GM threw a fit b/c he’s under contract to shill for them, and the new KITT is a Ford. So now it’s Val Kilmer, who seems intent on making the world forget he was ever an actor of any worth.

    This GPS is almost perfect; it just needs the three-bar equalizer that used to signify KITT’s voice. Is there a Turbo-Boost function on this thing, too?

  8. arkizzle says:

    Hi guys, I’m gonna tag-in for Argon here and say my brain did the exact same double-take his/her’s did.

    “Where do you want to go today” is, for me, forever burnt into my memory as a very specific Microsoft tagline.

    Upon reading the title of this post (“Where would you like to go today”), my mind instantly parsed it into William Daniels voice and I smiled. I followed the link before getting down to Argon’s point, and reading the linked-post, was struck that all of a sudden “where do you want to go today” didn’t seem as good (I hadn’t picked up on the switch yet) as it had a minute ago, and why were they using the obviously Microsoft-related line?

    Then I came back here and read the comments and realized the two lines were subtly different, and had been used in tandem.

    IIRC, KITT used to say “Would you like me to …, Michael?” a lot, and I think it’s this line they are playing off (or at least this recollection that had my brain stumped at the switch). Either way, I can totally hear William Daniels saying the word “like” in this context (specifically) in my head.

    However, I’m not getting my knickers in a twist about it, that is simply the train of thought I had, and feel it somewhat supports Argon’s reasoning, whether or not it matters.

    Brains are funny :)

  9. Enochrewt says:

    BBG brings the entertainment news, I didn’t know Will Arnett was going to be KITT’s voice, much less that they were making a new Knight Rider.

    Though I’d have to say that the show is doomed to fail anyway.

  10. gobo says:

    #6: You’re having me on.

  11. Argon says:

    Yes I am. All I can hope is to negotiate about the level of my weirdness. :)

  12. John Brownlee says:

    “It seems the incessant bombardment with advertising slogans conditioned our brains to ignore them.”

    So much so that I still have no idea what you’re talking about, having no recollection in the slightest of this advertising campaign. But don’t stop that from spinning your anti-KITT illuminati conspiracy, Argon.

    I mean, really. What’s worse? A guy who has been “brainwashed” by Microsoft into accidentally mentioning their fifteen year old advertising slogan? Or a guy who explodes into a conniption fit when a blogger misquotes an IMAGINARY TALKING CAR?

  13. jennfrank says:

    I would like a KITT: John Adams edition.

    “Vooooote eeeee-yes! Vooote for independence, vote ee-yes!”

    I love William Daniels.

  14. Argon says:

    The headline says “Where Would You Like To Go Today?

    But the post says “Where do you want to go today?which is Microsoft’s old trademark slogan

    KITT is running Windows? Unless, it’s a product tie-in in a product tie-in…

    Did someone make a slipup in the chain of blogs that featured this? It certainly isn’t original to this boingboing post, the overwhelming majority of blogs seem to use the Microsoft slogan. One has to ask, though, how Mr. Brownlee managed to put one quote in the headline and a different one in the body text.

    Have we all been brainwashed?

    What’s the real quote? Is “Hello, Michael. Where would you like to go today?” an actual catchphrase from the original series/new series/whatever?

  15. Antinous says:

    Argon,

    I know you don’t live in your mother’s basement. Are you having a flashback? Because you’re normally quite sane.

  16. John Brownlee says:

    @4:

    “Did someone make a slipup in the chain of blogs that featured this? It certainly isn’t original to this boingboing post, the overwhelming majority of blogs seem to use the Microsoft slogan. One has to ask, though, how Mr. Brownlee managed to put one quote in the headline and a different one in the body text.”

    Because I’m human? And so are the other blogs? And because it doesn’t MATTER?

  17. Argon says:

    Really? You must have lived under a rock back then. This slogan was everywhere! It was so ubiquitous that people made all kinds of M$ jokes (much more than usual, if you can believe it). Nobody could watch the TV ads without getting a weird feeling that MS was finally trying to brainwash us with this campaign. “Gah, there’s no escape from our evil corporate overlord, they’re following us around everywhere wanting to know what we do”, and all that. It was a truly priceless setup they handed us there. – Anyway, if you aren’t even sure about what point I’m trying to make it would be nice of you not to accuse me of spinning illuminati conspiracies either.

    The earliest blog occurrence I can find about this KITTnav is jimsmash’s entry, dated June 20th, which uses “where would you like“.

    Somewhere, someone’s brain must have misfired and they repeated the familiar MS slogan instead of the actual quote they intended to copy. Other blogs picked up on it. – Suppose there would have been a typo, or the words were scrambled like “Hello Michael, like would where go you today?“. Any editor who copied a quote like this would have immediately gone “huh”? But this particular error spread through the blogs without anybody noticing it.

    My hypothesis is that those people who don’t remember the slogan can’t recognize it, obviously. And those people who remember the slogan simply learned to skip thinking about it when they read it. We don’t pay attention to a single tree in the forest. (There was an experiment where people were told to count the goals in a sports video. Even when the participants were asked about it, less than half of them had noticed the very conspicuous guy in the gorilla costume. They must have seen him, but they simply didn’t “see” him.)

    There are hundreds of blog comments, though far as I can see nobody asks “This quote seems familiar but it just doesn’t look right. Did KITT really say this?” – Don’t you suppose that at least some of these people should remember the MS slogan? (I didn’t see it the first time around either. Only when I looked again after noticing that the headline said something different, it hit me.) Our brains are usually extremely good at recognizing familiar patterns, but we’re also very susceptible to inattentional blindness. In a blog entry about a car navigation system this slogan is so completely out of cognitive context that nobody recognizes it.

    Doesn’t anybody find this fascinating from a cognitive science perspective? Am I really that weird? I mean, advertising companies would pay big money to learn how they could repeat and exploit this effect.

  18. jennfrank says:

    Well, right now I’d say you’re around a three or a four, but we hardly know each other.

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