TomTom Via 120 and 125: Mid-range sat-navs with voice control

TomTom has announced two voice-controlled navigation systems that aim to prevent you driving your car off a cliff while awkwardly pawing at a touchscreen.

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TomTom, not content with releasing the Go Live 1000 last week and squeezing its nav gubbins into Sony Xplod car stereos, has released a further two navigation systems, both of which support voice control.

The TomTom Via 120 and 125, offering 4.3- and 5-inch screens respectively, allow the driver to enter destinations by tapping on the screen as usual, but you can also give them verbal commands. The idea is that voice control makes journeys safer, as drivers needn't take their eyes off the road while they're pawing awkwardly at a fiddly touchscreen.

The voice-control process involves users tapping the voice-entry button, and then speaking the destination city, the street and the number, followed by an 'okay', for confirmation.

Both sat-navs talk back to you. The spoken-street-names feature means messages like "in 100 yards, take the next left" become "in 100 yards, take the next left onto [the name of the road you're meant to turn into]", which makes it slightly more obvious where you're supposed to be headed.

In addition, the 120 and 125 feature advanced lane guidance, letting you know exactly which lane you're supposed to be in; 'IQ routes', to more accurately calculate your journey length based on real speed data collected from other TomTom users; and richer maps, with highly detailed points-of-interest data, such as the phone numbers and opening times of local businesses.

Speaking of phone numbers, both the 120 and 125 allow hands-free calling, although this is an optional feature. To make use of it, you'll need to buy a separate Bluetooth module, which will reroute calls and texts from your mobile to the 120 or 125.

TomTom hasn't yet confirmed pricing for the 120 or 125, but it's promised that both are mid-range devices and will cost less than the all-singing, all-dancing Go Live 1000.

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