The high wizards of tech are finally coming to terms with the fragile and faulty operating system that is the human body. As the Silicon Valley meritocratic ethos wrestles with the ultimate injustice, entrepreneurs are finding new ways to profit from and ease the process of slipping away. They have disrupted our commutes and communications, and now the only world left to conquer is death.
1) Where There’s No Will, This Way
The new startup app Willing wants to make it easier for you to make a will. Founder Eliam Medina was inspired to create the app after a relative’s medical emergency. The first version of the free app launched in January; by August, a representative for Willing said it was on track to have created more than 10,000 wills. According to Willing, the wills are valid in every state across the U.S.
2) Coffin Shopping
British coffin company DFS Caskets constructed an app, Family Assistant, to take the pain out of designing the wooden box that will house you or your loved ones for eternity. The software produces digital 3D models of coffins in a variety of wood styles, such as Golden, Rich, or Roasted mahogany, handles, and lid molds.
3) “When your heart stops beating, you’ll keep tweeting.”
The Twitter app LivesOn wants to keep your followers happy after you’ve departed. When it came on the scene in early 2013, LivesOn promised to analyze your tweets, jack your style, and then algorithmically continue your Twitter legacy to the heat death of the universe. LivesOn has not tweeted since late 2013, and its website remains Coming Soon © 2013, so perhaps LivesOn didn’t.
4) QR Codes From Beyond the Grave
Funeral tech company Resting Here has created a smartphone app that uses:
GPS technology to find your loved one’s Resting Place at any time in the future. Once the RestingHere.com smart phone app gets you to within 5 meters of the Resting Place a “pop up” will appear on the screen of your smart phone that reads “Tap for Memories”. Watch the memorial video in the peace and quiet that surrounds your loved one. Using our smart phone app makes it easy to find the exact Resting Place of your loved one that may fade with time. The use of the RestingHere.com smart phone app is invaluable to those that chose a cremation option where ashes may have been spread in a non traditional cemetery.
5) The Silicon Valley Fountain of Youth
Human genome sequencing pioneer Craig Venter launched Human Longevity Inc. in 2014, his method of making “100 the new 60” by way of stem cell therapies. And Venter’s not the only one in Silicon Valley with death in his sights — look at Peter Thiel or Larry Page. Calico, which stands for California Life Company, is a branch of Alphabet that no one (outside of Calico) really knows what is up to beyond increasing our understanding of human lifespan.Photos via Flickr.com/Robert Couse-Baker