The L.L.Bean Bootmobile is perhaps the diametric opposite of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, promoting outdoor activity instead of consumption of sodium and saturated-fat-laden sausages. The well-known maker of high quality outdoor goods is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and the Bootmobile has been created as a way to celebrate the product that helped start it all. After being unveiled to L.L. Bean employees at the Brunswick, Maine facility where the boots are made, the wheeled boot tribute is headed to Times Square to kick off a nationwide anniversary tour. The tour is intended to inspire people to frolic outdoors and L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery School guides will be traveling with the Bootmobile to help people learn how to do so. Most important to auto enthusiasts might be what’s underneath it all. The underlying truck is a Ford F-250 Super Duty Diesel, and piled atop that base is a fiberglass body that stands 13 feet tall. Das Boot equates to a Size 747 bit of footwear – that’s the perfect size for a 143-foot tall person, but they are too big for the Statue of Liberty. Echo Artz of Florida handled the design and build process, first sculpting the body in foam and then laying the fiberglass and paying obsessive attention to the details along the way. L.L. Bean officials declined to tell us how much the unique build cost them, calling the Bootmobile “priceless.” It’s a big way to celebrate a company that started as the result of cold, wet feet after a hunting trip.
The technology exists to build a car that will act as your own private nurse. The car will notice if you have low blood sugar and prompt you to eat a snack. The car will also check local pollen counts and roll up your windows when the pollen gets too high. At lunch time, the car is going to give you directions to the nearest restaurant that serves you a healthy lunch. This and much more is what Ford has in store for its consumers in the future, some of these applications of technology may be available in a year or two. Using a suite of new apps Ford announced Wednesday, starting up your car will supply you with your own personalized medical evaluation. Three medical technology firms are working with Ford to build web-connected apps for it Sync on board communications interface. Ford’s Chief Technology Officer, Paul Mascarenas, said today that the technology to monitor these vitals won’t be available for another year. The Ford Company wants to focus on the consumers health in the up and coming cars of the future. While apps to monitor blood alcohol would be a tremendous safety tool, Ford executives have no plan on offering these apps in the cars, they are going in a more keeping healthy way instead of monitoring the laws apparently. The crashes reported by hypoglycemic patients because of their sugar levels going awry, may be a thing of the past with the new blood sugarmonitoring system. Of course alcohol indulgence also causes crashes, but this again is apparently not health related enough to add in with the other apps. Ford’s vision is to turn cars into tools that work for the consumer as life coaches and personal assistants. They liken this to the way Smartphone apps have transformed the cell phone. Ford does not have a target population in mind when developing this technology to use in their cars. They want to offer it to their frugal Fiesta drivers all the way through to the high end cars, such as the pricey Lincolns.