Darth Vader 'makes kids go gaga'

2012-03-30 12:38

Researchers at TomTom’s Navigation Laboratory (NavLab) have discovered that Darth Vader’s navigation voice increases children’s happiness in the car by better than 68%.

Take a look at the video below - units will be in stores on Sunday, April 1, at a laughable price but only until midday.

More than 300 baby and toddler volunteers* took parts in Project GAGA, a six-month NavLab research project to find the perfect satnav voice for families on the move with small children.


“Everything we do is about making journeys better,” said Daan Henderickx of TomTom South Africa. “When we found that 97% of parents say ‘crying and unhappy children’ is the single biggest source of disturbance in the car, we knew we had to find a solution and Project GAGA was launched.”

In scientific tests, Darth Vader’s voice gained the highest happiness score with children aged six months to two years. The Dark Lord’s voice was tested with 25 other popular satnav voices, among them Homer Simpson, Bugs Bunny and Yoda. TomTom might use Bugsy over Easter.

Don't be fooled - children responded most positively to Darth Vader’s breathy tones, Yoda’s voice reduced many babies to tears.

“Our customers have been telling us for years that their TomTom satnav voice feels like part of the family,” Henderickx added.  “Now it would seem that every family car should have Darth Vader on board to calm the kids and cheer up their parents."

*No children were bribed with sweeties during the making of this video.