Detroit, MI – If you’re anything like us, you’ve either had a friend, family member or co-worker who subscribes to the intangible ideal known as “Jeep Life”. Most likely, they choose to place themselves behind the wheel of a Wrangler, crawling rocks and/or malls, offering inscrutably subtle ‘Jeep Waves’ to other members of their tribe as they pass. Or maybe you’re a Jeeper yourself, condemned to an existence that so few understand, leaving you no choice but to reiterate the song of your people (as immortalized on so many bumper stickers), “It’s a Jeep thing. You wouldn’t understand.” But a new headline circulating live auto news outlets might offer all of us some unprecedented hope in terms of bridging that gap.
Meet Rad Bratton, a 21-year old tech guru, entrepreneur and Jeep enthusiast. While you might not recognize Rad by name, it’s highly likely that you’re familiar with some of his beloved creations. Perhaps you know of the Snapchat dog filter? Well, Rad didn’t create that but, at the age of sixteen, he was the guy who said, “Why don’t we do one with long ears, and one with short ears?” as well as asking the timeless question, “How do we feel about a pig filter?”
Well, this social media wunderkind is applying the same level of prophetic strategy to his love of Jeep Life, in the creation of a new translation app.
“Racism and isolationist Nationalism are major problems in today’s word,” Bratton explains. “And while most of it stems from a human fear of the ‘different’, the majority of the divide has been linguistic in nature. If we found it easier to understand one another, we could improve communication, gain more respect for one another, and become more unified as a species. That’s the mentality behind such tools as iTranslate. Well, it seems to me that more people might be more accepting of the Jeep community if what we were saying could be translated in a manner that makes more sense to them.”
Being marketed under the tagline, “It’s a Jeep Thing. Now You CAN Understand!” Bratton’s JEEPSPEAK app allows for multi-directional translation. This means that a Jeep user can record something, and have it played back in regular English.
For example, let’s say that 46-year old Doug is the proud new of a lifted Wrangler JL and wants to see if any of his friends want to go off-roading this weekend. Without JEEPSPEAK he might have been forced to go alone, but no more.
Let’s say he records himself saying, “Hey guys? Looking to hit the trails this weekend? Want to rip some shit up with me?” JEEPSPEAK will translate that in a manner that his normal friends will understand, “Hey guys. Ever since Jen left me and took the kids, I could really use some company. I bought this death trap, and am less likely to kill myself if you come with me. I’ll even buy the beer.”
But it works both ways! Let’s say you’re trying to communicate with a Jeep lover. Just record yourself, “Hi. How are you?” And JEEPSPEAK will translate it in a way they can understand, which is basically just the word ‘Jeep’ being yelled out in different tones, volumes and intensities.
How does it work? Truth be told, we don’t really understand. But then again, it’s a Jeep Thing, so we’re really not supposed to.