Tech company aims to bring peace to the grieving
The chance to say goodbye to loved ones from beyond the grave will soon be possible with tech start-up from beyond life.
The Manchester-based site lets users gather pictures and videos in a digital capsule that will be sent to loved ones once they pass away.
An alert will be sent to those that will eventually receive the messages when the user creates their account to avoid a potentially upsetting, albeit well-meaning, surprise once the user has passed away.
Co-founder and CEO William Haggerty says he will be signing up for the service, which is due to be launched later this year pending investment, as a chance to say goodbye to his partner and children.
“It’s a tool to encourage my partner to carry on with life and to tell my children I love them,” he told BusinessCloud.
“They’re the best things I’ve ever achieved in life and I’m proud of them – it’s all things which offer a sense of peace.”
The concept may sound a little morbid but Haggerty says the team has been careful to make sure that it’s a positive thing for both users and those left behind.
“We’re creating a celebration of life,” he said.
“There’s a journal element for the person who created it. You could set up an account in your 20s and build it up over the years.
“You might make it to 80, but when you’re gone your loved ones are the end users benefiting from what you’ve created.”
Haggerty and his partner Katie Jones started the company after Jones nearly died after giving birth then Haggerty's father passed away several weeks later.
“I arrived at the hospital to find Katie asking her friend to tell me she loved me,” said Jones.
“It’s one of the toughest things I’ve ever come up against.”
Although the company is not live yet, Jones says reaction to the service has been positive.
“We’ve done the market research on healthy people and the results came back at 81 per cent positive - and the remaining were unsure,” he said.
“We’re confident that number would increase once we’d explained it more to the people who are unsure.
“I don’t really have anything to remember my father by and you wouldn’t believe the amount of people I’ve come across who say they’re in the same boat as me.”
The service will operate on a subscription basis, allowing people to choose how much media they want to leave behind for an annual fee.
With Haggerty being a window cleaner in his previous life, and Jones continuing her teaching job, the team of five has sought tech advice and support within the city, saying they owe a lot to Natwest’s E-Spark hub for believing in and accelerating their business.
The team has also enlisted the technical expertise of app development team Dreamr to ensure that the sensitive data being left behind will be secured against both hackers and loss.
In the future Haggerty sees the service as potentially expanding into other areas like creating a virtual reality service and using other up-and-coming tech to help people come to terms with grief.