Some of us just want a satnav which tells us how to get from A to B while avoiding traffic congestion. Others, apparently, want a satnav that imitates SpongeBob SquarePants for reasons which, to be frank, are completely beyond me. After all, I don't live in a pineapple under the sea.

Yet the market leader in satnav devices, TomTom, has today announced the availability of a SpongeBob SquarePants voice (following the success of the Homer Simpson satnav) for users of its products. Indeed, the jovial press release even informs me that it will help users to navigate beyond Bikini Bottom. Well whoopy bleedin' do.

So what do you get courtesy of this partnership between TomTom and Nickelodeon, other than extremely annoyed and a headache by the time you arrive that is? Well I am reliably informed that SpongeBob "and his friends" (oh God help us all) add to the navigation commentary with such comments as "Hey, I don’t have a license to drive. So is it illegal when I drive Mr. Krabs crazy?" and "Exit ahead. Hey, we’re cruisin’ in a car! I’ve only cruised in a boat before!"

If that's not bad enough, and believe me it is, it really, really is, then you could choose Dora the Explorer quipping "We need to exit left ahead. ¡Vámonos! We're getting closer!" or "Adventures are better with an explorer like you" if you prefer a different route to your mental breakdown.

The TomTom press release does not make it clear if SpongeBob, or Dora for that matter, will pick up the tab for your costs after you crash while trying to figure out where you should be going or, more likely, desperately trying to turn the damn thing off before you descend into cartoon character-initiated Hell.

What it did say, in a very grown up and not at all cartoon voice, was "Working with Spot It Out and Nickelodeon enables TomTom to expand the range we can deliver to drivers so that drivers can personalise their devices with an array of fun personalities" according to Tom Murray, senior vice president of market development who added "The voices of Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants arrive just in time for TomTom users to enjoy during their summer adventures – from camp carpools to vacations – and keep the whole family entertained along the way".

And at only £7.95 for each voice who could possibly resist, he says slowly raising hand...

About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...