A new app lets you send messages after you die. The web and smartphone based service, SafeBeyond, allows you to line up short messages, texts, photos, and videos, and have them forwarded to the living after you have kicked the bucket.
The service, currently available on the web and as an Android app, uses an interesting, people-centric model. First, you appoint trustees and heirs. The latter are the recipients of your future messages, and former are the folks who take care of delivering it for you. The service was created by Moran Zur, who lost his father to cancer. When his wife was also diagnosed with cancer, he worried that their then-three-year-old son would never know his mother, so he quit his job and founded SafeBeyond.
“I was very occupied with the thought he might lose his mum and will never get a chance to know her, and she’s an amazing person,” he told Katie Linendoll. “I was really afraid that if I don’t do something to change it, he’ll never have a chance to know her.” (His wife ended up overcoming the disease and is doing well today.)
Users of the free service get 1 GB per month of bandwidth for future messages, and stocking the service with future birthday, wedding, and graduation greeting for the kids can occupy you until you meet your maker. After you die, your trustees get in on the action. Scheduling birthday greetings is easy, but because you don’t know the date of your son’s wedding or your daughter’s graduation, your trustees can take care of adding the dates, making sure the video gets delivered at the right time.
If you really think you’ll still have a lot to tell your family and friends after you’re safely sleeping six feet under, you can opt for the paid 30-GB-per-month plan, although going crazy with communications risks your offspring adding your posthumous email address to their spam filters.
You can also store your passwords and social media account details, to be passed to the correct people after you log off for the last time. This, though, seems like a potential security risk. Perhaps those passwords could be written on paper instead and stored in a safe.
Many parts of the service are a little spooky. You can, for instance, have a farewell tweet or Facebook post sent after your demise. Or, even creepier, should your heirs also be using the app, you can have messages pop-up when they visit certain locations. For instance, a message when they visit your grave (“Don’t forget to water the flowers”).
The biggest risk is in trusting that the service will last longer than you. After all, most software and service companies have a lifespan shorter than the average human childhood.
This article incorrectly stated that Moran Zur’s wife has died of cancer. She was only diagnosed with cancer, but she overcame the disease and is today alive and well.