May 5 • 16M

How To Keep Telling Your Life Story Even After It Ends

The Art of Memorialising - Edition #11 - May, 2022

 
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Peter Billingham
The Art of Memorialising curates news on digital immortality, digital legacy, digital life curation and all things #Deathtech. Welcome to The Art of Memorialising - an audio newsletter by Peter Billingham from Death Goes Digital and Memorable Words Eulogy Writing services.
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What can you do to stay informed about digital immortality, digital legacy, digital life curation, and all things #Deathtech?

Being ahead in this changing marketplace and cultural transformation could help you spot trends and find opportunities to promote and grow your end-of-life or funeral business.

Welcome to The Art of Memorialising - an audio newsletter by Peter Billingham from Death Goes Digital and Memorable Words Eulogy Writing services.

The Art of Memorialising curates news on digital immortality, digital legacy, digital life curation and all things #Deathtech.

Thanks for being here.

What Will You Find In This Issue?

  • How ‘Digital Heritage’ storytelling keeps our lost loved one close.

  • When technology and entertainment collide, do you get - ‘Upload?’

  • How using 30 4K cameras could immortalise your grandpa.


Photo by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash

And They All Lived Happily Ever After In Virtual Reality. Or Did They?

‘In the end, we’ll all become stories.’ Margaret Atwood.

Once upon a time. 

That’s how most stories start.

And they all lived happily ever after.

Perhaps they don’t always end that way. 

Margaret Atwood was spot on - we all become a story someone will tell. Increasingly, however, there will be a choice for who tells the tale of a life. Let me explain. 

In this edition of The Art of Memorialising, we look at how telling the story of your life as you live it, and after you have died, is undergoing transformational change. Why?

The rise of AI avatars will allow you to see your grandparents, parents and other loved ones telling their own life stories long after they have died, speaking directly to you through VR immersive experiences. 

Imagine now being able to ‘see and hear’ your grandpa walking around the towns he lived in, the places he went on holiday and locations where he worked? Hear him say, ‘Come with me. Let me show you where your grandpa proposed to your grandma!’

The transformational change in creating personal biographies and memoirs will keep our loved ones and their memories alive in ways we haven’t experienced before. 

But is a good thing? Is the adage of, ‘A time to be born and a time to die’ no longer needed? Will your dwelling in digital immortality be helpful to those still mortally alive?

I started Death Goes Digital in 2016. Then discussions and thoughts of ‘Digital Legacy’ focused on, ‘What happens to your Facebook account after you die?’ The concerns mainly on what will happen to the online traces of your life, your bank accounts and social media profiles, etc., after death. That hasn’t changed, but there is now much more.

While protecting our digital estate when we are dead is important, what is far more fascinating is what is revolutionising culture around biography and memoir writing. How we can choose to tell and remember the story of our lives while we are living? So what’s happening?

I see developing the growth of a ‘digital heritage.’ It’s a term being used in Japan. I like it more than, ‘Are you protecting your digital assets when you’re dead?’ A ‘Digital Heritage’ sounds creative, proactive and inspiring choices to leave more than just the password of mobile phone behind. 

Writing several eulogies each week constantly reminds me life ends often before it gets to the ‘happily ever after’ part. Yet, each life is full of special moments, sometimes missed, often forgotten.

Remembering to gather and record those special elements of the story of a life inspired me to write the book - Gathering Rosebuds In Kerala.

Published this month, my book is a memoir about a birthday trip I took to India. But more than that, it’s a reflection on ageing, and how we might remember the story of our life. A workbook for noticing and capturing those special moments in life and storing them forever.

What will be the story you tell about your life?

Who and how will that story be told in the generations to come?

Will it be you as a 3D hologram, an AI avatar, or even a ‘Versona?’ Read on, see what you think, and let me know. I’d love to hear what you think. 

Please let me know. Email info@deathgoesdigital.com


Startup Spotlights

Heard of a startup in digital life curation or #Deathtech?

Please let me know. Email info@deathgoesdigital.com


MM’s (Memorialisation Morsels) 

5 meaty bites of news for YOU to stay ahead of the conversation on Digital Legacy, Digital Life Curation & all things #Deathtech.

1 - Will Cybernetic Immortality Lead To Living Happily Ever After?

Science fiction becoming reality is not a surprise. 

Tasers, defibrillators, mobile phones, and 3D holograms captured our curiosity in books, films and tv long before they became commonplace in culture. When developing science and technology becomes entertainment, it gives us clues for forecasting the future. Could ‘Upload,’ the new Amazon Prime series, be such an example? 

Set in 2033, Nathan Brown, a computer programmer, dies when his self-driving car crashes, and uploaded to a luxurious digital afterlife called Lakeview. (Seems now death has status levels as well it seems!) I haven’t watched the series yet, but the article from Georgi Boorman via The Federalist is an interesting perspective on the series and life in Cybernetic Immortality.

2 - For Sale - Eternal life. (Well virtual to start)

If you think ‘Upload’ is stretching the ‘fiction’ of science fiction into reality a bit too far, then Somnium Space may change your mind and open your eyes. (via vice.com

Somnium Space is a Virtual Reality world built on the block chain where users can purchase digital land, build homes and buildings, start businesses, offer concerts and live events. Somnium Space offers a way for people to buy digital immortality in its ‘Live Forever’ mode. 

As is often the story, Somnium Space CEO and founder Artur Sychov experienced the loss of a loved one. Discovering his father was terminally ill, he turned his entrepreneurial and creative imagination into action. 

Realising his young children wouldn’t connect with their grandfather, he imagined a VR existence where within minutes you wouldn’t know you were talking to an AI avatar and not your deceased loved one. Even to the way they move, after teaming up with full body VR suit designer - Teslasuit.

For a detailed read into the thoughts of many writers about trans-humanism - (via TheBigThink) - Can we Upload Consciousness? Mind Uploading Can We Become Immortal?  

3 - The Future of Memoir Storytelling - StoryTerrace VR Biographies

Famed for the ‘Dragons Den’ investment into the art of life storytelling and memoir writing, StoryTerrace is a personal biography creator. Matching clients with local writers, through a series of interviews, conversations and edits, they create and publish beautifully bound and illustrated memoirs. 

Over the last two years, they have been developing a partnership with 8i to create the first Virtual Reality biographies. Combing all their elements of storytelling, they are adding the immersive experience of seeing loved ones speak out their personal histories in the metaverse. Thirty 4K cameras create a 3D hologram placed into recognisable locations and even into home videos and photos. Watch the process on this video. (via hyperbeast and a link from my daughter -thanks!)

4 - YOV - Holding On To ‘The Essence of Loved One Forever.’

Imagine never having to say goodbye to someone you love - even after they have died. That is the vision and life mission of Justin Harrison. By 2025, he aims to give millions the opportunity to ‘save the essence’ of a loved one by creating a ‘Versona.’ (via Cheyenne MacDonald on Input)

The twin catalysts of a near death experience, and finding out his mother Melodi had stage-4 cancer, collided into the quest to find the answer to the question, ‘How can you hold on to life for those facing death?’ What if I don’t want to let go of those I love? 

YOV - ‘You, Only Virtual’ results from two years of work. It is a communication portal to those who have died. As the website declares - ‘Transformative communications for a transformative future - the story of a life need never end.’ 

With YOV you can - text, call, use visual calling to communicate with a lost loved one by developing a ‘Versona.’ A way of storing the ‘very essence’ of the loved one permanently. Through AR (augmented reality), see your loved one with you in their favourite park, or sitting with you at the cinema. For a one fee of $199 USD and monthly fee of $39.99 - now you can ‘truly never say goodbye.’ 

Justin is a filmmaker, and the story told in the video promoting YOV on YouTube shows you how good a storyteller he is! 

5. 4everstory - Capturing and Remembering Family Stories 

Feeling the immense loss and sadness of losing a loved one, 4everstory founder John Withers, wanted to find a way to capture and remember precious memories. But not only for himself, he wanted to create the opportunity for every family to tell their life story. 

4everstory offers ways to create, remember, and celebrate a life online. ‘A lifetime is made of a thousand stories. Keep yours alive forever.’ We can keep even the memory of our pets safe for all time. You get to choose to honour a loved one or tell your story as you live it. So one day, your family can read, watch and listen as well. Check out - Here’s To The Storytellers Video


Sponsored Product or Service

Interested in sharing your new product or service with readers of The Art of Memorialising? (check here)

We highlight your product, service, or idea sponsoring an edition. We give you the space; you get to tell the world about what you are doing or have created.

You and your business can become part of the adventure now. Secure your month in 2022/23 now. 


Snippets

And finally, it wouldn’t be an edition of The Art of Memorialising if I didn’t mention GoodTrust again. I might add, there is no affiliate link here, yet…! 

Rikard Steiber, GoodTrust CEO and founder has announced on National Pet Day another partnership with Trupanion, a leader in medical insurance for pets. Proving GoodTrust is a creative digital-legacy pioneer dedicated to solving the problem of what happens to our online accounts and assets, including our pets, when we die.

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Who do you know who would find this information interesting?

Please, can you forward the email to them? I’d be very grateful. 

Let’s start a conversation - info@deathgoesdigital.com

Until next month, keep safe, and keep going. 

Pete