Aussie Invention Sends Messages From And To The Grave
Every Sunday morning, Rodney Millott visits Eco Memorial Park to have breakfast with his son.
"Words can't explain how much I miss my only son," he told 10 News First.
Lucas Millott tragically died from a rare heart disease late last year. The 15-year-old had shown no signs or symptoms before he suddenly collapsed in his Gold Coast classroom.
Now, in an effort to carry on his memory, the Millott family is making use of new Australian technology.
Placed discreetly above Lucas' memorial plaque is a Memento -- a small, plastic box with a Bluetooth signal.
When connected to the modUrn app, visitors within five metres of the plaque can access what is essentially a digital scrapbook --photos, videos, favourite songs and even recorded messages put together to tell the life story of a lost loved one.
The information can be made public, private or a mix of both, and can be added to at any point by people who are granted access.
Creator Sonia Vachalec said she hopes the Memento -- which is the first of its kind in the world -- will become a "really unique family treasure".
"It's going to hold so many individual stories that is really going to be a true reflection of the essence of that person and what their life was," she told 10 daily.
For Millott, it's another way to feel close to his son.
"Coming down here can be quite emotional and seeing a smile on his face over the years puts a smile back on mine I suppose," he told 10 News First.
Vachalec began developing the gadget in her 20s following the death of her own father.
"We were trying to keep all of his things together and his memories," she said.
"And there was just nowhere really fantastic to keep everything together as well as his mortal remains as well."
As well as the Memento, Vachalec's company offers contemporary urns which perform the same function -- even for your pets.
As technology continues to play a part in modern grieving -- online tributes and messages to loved ones via social media now a common response to death -- Vachalec believes technology will grow to play an even bigger role.
"Technology is such a part of all our lives now and it's just going to increase as we go into the future that it's just a natural progression that it would go into the memorial space and the supportive space," she said.
"I think that technology will just become more and more ingrained in obviously not just life but in death."