A new Israeli App, SafeBeyond gives people the chance to communicate with their loved ones from beyond the grave - literally, according to the founder and chief executive Moran Zur.
"Our app is part of a new type of software called digital inheritance. Already there are apps that let you store digital versions of documents like insurance policies, wills, and other essential information that heirs are going to need, but may have a hard time locating.
"We take the concept to the next step, allowing individuals to achieve closure with their loved ones, not just on a financial level, but an emotional one as well," he added.
The Times of Israel said users can record both audio and video messages and have them played back to their children, spouses or anyone else at anytime in the future.
"For example, you would record a message to be delivered to your child on the day they graduate from college, or the day they get married, encouraging them as they take their next important step in life," Zur said.
"For the sender, it's a way to posthumously send a message to their loved ones, while for the recipient, it gives them a way to include the sender in their celebration, even if they are no longer with us," he added.
He reassures users that the App is not aimed at surprising the living with a message from the grave, which he says "could be seen as a bit spooky."
"After a loved one passes away, the 'digital heirs' of the messages are told about SafeBeyond's services, and that they can expect messages from the departed at some point in the future.
Four types of services available
The application has four types of messages on offer. Messages that could be sent at a specific predetermined date like a child's birthday or wedding anniversary, or an event message that is sent out at a pre-defined event like a graduation or wedding. A trustee can be appointed to inform SafeBeyond about significant events, the specific date which would be unknown to the departed like weddings and the birth of a child.
There is also a location message where the message is sent when the loved one reaches a specified location like the Eiffel Tower or New York City. The last type of message available is a social media message that can be left on Facebook or Twitter to family, friends or the world as a final farewell.
"We are the first ones to bring this concept to the emotional sphere. Many people who lose loved ones never get a chance to have the kind of emotional closure they need. SafeBeyond is a form of emotional insurance that we believe will benefit many people, and even change our perception of death."
Zur said the app is not about youth culture seeking to keep itself going forever digitally. "It's more about enabling both recipients and senders to close the circle, and enable the living to go on with life."
App is free
Although the app is free, it charges for extra storage space beyond the free 1 GB. It also plans to work with user communities and even insurance companies to provide them with versions they could brand themselves to provide policyholders with an extra digital service.
Zur developed the app after going through two personal tragedies. His father died in 2002 to cancer when he was only 25 and he says he never had a chance to ask him "the big questions" in life.
Although the idea for SafeBeyond was formed following his father's death, it took his wife's cancer scare for him to go on to develop the application. His wife has survived brain cancer but Zuk said during that time he "thought about what she was going through and what it would mean to my son if he lost his mother."