Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Voice behind the Airports

Unattended luggage

"Please do not leave your luggage unattended" , "The next uptown train will arrive in one minute" " Flight NZ52 to Auckland has been delayed until 4pm". Who is that mystery voice that looks out for our safety when we're standing too close to the oncoming train, who is it that bodes us well on our 16 hour flights or breaks the bad news to us that our flight home has been canceled.

That voice that's always talking to us whether we want to hear it or not, is it a computer generated woman made to sound authoritative, calm and helpful or does it belong to someone sitting up in the roof watching when people step over the yellow line, leave their luggage unattended or or are about to park in a taxi zone?

Well neither is correct. Carolyn Hopkins, the voice in the airports, train station or ferry terminals, sits in her cute wee house in Northern Maine speaking helpful commentary from afar. She records all the airports' requests for comments and sends them via email to their needy destination ready to be played when necessary.

Carolyn Hopkins' voice is well known to so many around the world but not many can say they know what she looks like. Her voice is famous in airports such as John F. Kennedy International, La Guardia, Incheon International Airport, and in transit systems such as the New York Subway.

Carolyn has been recording subway announcements for 16 years but has never heard herself on the New York subway because the last time she caught it was in 1957.

Carolyn records her short takes , and short two word takes they usually are, in her windowless, foam wall office in Maine. Each take she records are usually two or three word sentences that the computer can string together later. "Ladies and Gentlemen", "Local Train", "five minutes" are some, of her short takes. Her longest take, however, is 16 words and informs passengers to stand away from the platform edge.

Well now you know. Next time you're in an airport or subway and hear the mystery voice you'll be able to inform those with you that it belongs to a woman far away named Carolyn Hopkins.

Take a listen to Carolyn and see if you recognise her authoritative and kindly voice.

If you hear Carolyn's voice quite often, you may consider getting this New Car Rental App for your iPhone or Android! Wherever you are, you'll be able to find and book a rental car for your time traveling. Check out the Car Rental App here... http://www.carrentalapp.mobi/ or watch this humorous video explaining it.

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