messages

Text messages from the dead

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Religion, folklore and film are riddled with stories of the dead trying to communicate with the living.  Technology has solved this problem, too.

“To communicate on your behalf many, many years after you’re no longer here and make sure that your legacy is being presented to different people in different ways as you choose,” says Moran Zur, founder of SafeBeyond.

SafeBeyond is an app that allows people to record texts, audio and video messages throughout their life and stores them in a heavily encrypted “digital vault.”

From a final farewell to a corny joke or a grandmother’s highly coveted chocolate chip cookie recipe, SafeBeyond will send messages on behalf of its clients for up to 25 years after they die.

Users schedule the messages to be released to their loved ones. Moran says many choose to do so on birthdays or on the first anniversary on their passing.

But messages can also be sent for events that would have been unforeseen to the dead — like a wedding or the birth of a child. To make that happen, the departed must appoint a trustee who will let SafeBeyond know when those significant life events happen.

After the user dies, recipients are emailed a notification telling them to download the app so that they can, one day, receive a message from the grave.

SafeBeyond charges $47.88 to $95.88 per year for its services.

Moran hatched the idea for SafeBeyond more than a decade ago, after his own father passed away.

“He was a man of advice, and I couldn’t hear his advice anymore,” he says.

But it wasn’t until 2012, when his wife was diagnosed with brain cancer that Moran began to seriously consider creating a company that could save and store memories — worried his son, then two years old, might “never get to know his mom.”

Though his wife has since recovered, the fear of losing her prompted him to quit his day job as the CEO of a brokerage firm and begin developing SafeBeyond.

About 25,000 people have signed up for SafeBeyond since it launched in 2015 and are actively squirreling away content.

Most users are from Canada and the U.S., with a handful of early adopters from Israel, Taiwan, Singapore, Brazil and Colombia. There are more women than men using the platform.

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