Monday, October 24, 2011
No, it's not an virtual autopsy. When I first heard the name of this internet company, that was my first guess. Written on the main page of their website is the message "Build your Immortality because Life is worth it". This is a new company which specializes in the "long term preservation of the digital memory of deceased people." Their claim is that their two web applications are "destined to change forever the way people deal with Death." That's a lot to live up to (pun intended).
I-Postmortem recently released I-Memorial.com and I-Tomb.net. I-Memorial is site that allows you to build your own memorial. One can post last messages to family, leave funeral instructions and last wishes. You can actually put up digital copies of wills, insurances policies etc. and have them sent to specific loved ones at the time of your demise.
I-Tomb is meant to be a virtual cemetery of sorts. Family members can put up videos, audio files and written messages in memory of the deceased. A family can just set up an I-Tomb or the I-Tomb can come from an I-Memorial account. How I understood it is that an I-Memorial becomes an I-Tomb once the author has passed. Prior to death the author designates someone to declare them dead (a "Death Declarator"). After declared dead, the personalized messages are sent out to the proper recipients or posted to the I-Tomb, whatever the author specified. The site specifically states that the switch over is irreversible, so I guess make sure someone is really dead before declaring.
This does come at a cost, but not too bad. An I-Memorial account is $120 per year and an I-Tomb is $50 per year. But you can plan ahead and prepay for up to 20 years in advance.
I don't know that this is destined to change how we deal with death but it does seem interesting. The I-Memorial is a bit Type A personality for me. I'm just not that much of a planner. I'm more interested in the I-Tomb/virtual cemetery concept. That is something I can actually see myself doing for a loved one.