The news is out about the launch of AFTR, a pioneering funeral technology that connects the deceased in cemeteries with their loved ones who can’t be there in person. Here are highlights of recent stories.
“There’s no denying the pandemic has been hard on everyone, including those who are grieving from the loss of a loved one. In an effort to limit large gatherings, many have had to resort to attending funerals and wakes via livestream.
But to help keep the memory alive, and to make the loss slightly easier to cope with, is AFTR — a company that offers a line of cemetery cameras that allow you and your family members to visit loved ones’ gravesites right through your phone and tablet, no matter where you are.”
New York Post
“On Wednesday, tech company AFTR launched two weather-resistant, solar-powered cameras that grievers can attach to headstones or place in-ground at gravesites to digitally access their loved ones’ final resting places. Each model costs $499.
The “death care” tech features HD video, night vision, two-way audio and 24/7 streaming access to a gravesite through a mobile- and tablet-compatible app. The app is also intended to be used as a diary, where mourners can save videos, notes, music and photos.”
“As the pandemic continues to rage, technology company AFTR has introduced a new category in the growing death care market, a line of cemetery cameras that enable mourners to visit their loved ones’ gravesites virtually through their phone or tablet to help them stay connected. While travel is limited and social distancing is a harsh reality, AFTR helps people overcome physical obstacles to grieving and feel more connected to lost loved ones even when they can’t physically be with them.
North America is considered the most prominent death care service market because demographic and economic advancement toward customized service requirements are driving growth with the global market expected to reach $102.4 billion in 2020. The U.S. death care market is estimated to reach revenues of around $68 billion by 2023.
AFTR has developed two all weather cameras, the MountCam™ and GroundCam™, that can be attached to any headstone. The cameras are solar powered, capture HD video and audio and are equipped with night vision and laser technology. Built-in microphones pick up audio and ensure communications are discreet. Both cameras are available for an introductory price of $500.
The AFTR app, available for iOS and Google, gives users 24/7 streaming access through video and a two-way audio stream via phone or tablet. You can ensure that a loved one’s burial site is being well-tended; you can play music and access photos, videos and notes from the app’s diary. AFTR offers two plans (1) Peace of Mind at $4.99/month captures a photo of the gravesite once a day (2) Stay Connected at $12.99/month allows users to access the AFTR camera stream any time, day or night.
“After losing my father and facing devastating personal loss, I was able to find solace as I looked for ways for me and my siblings to connect with my late father’s memory,” said AFTR founder and CEO Joseph Schechter. “Now more than ever, our goal is to help people stay connected to their loved ones despite geographic boundaries or the virus.” Schechter had been in the camera business for 13 years before founding AFTR, having developed a rear-view camera for trucks.”
“Losing a loved one or friend was difficult enough in the pre-COVID-19 era, with the dual traumas of death and burial. But these challenges have only deepened as the pandemic prevents people from visiting hospitals and participating in services. Today, Brooklyn-based startup AFTR is unveiling hardware and service solutions to make the cemetery experience easier for families. The company is offering two types of gravesite cameras, plus two levels of monthly cellular service that enable either photographic or audio-video virtual visits at any time.
AFTR’s basic premise isn’t just sound; it’s actually very thoughtful. Customers choose between one of two all-weather, solar-charged cameras — the GroundCam or MountCam — that are designed to be permanently installed either in front of the gravestone or on top of it with a telescoping arm. Powered by a high-capacity battery and a persistent 4G cellular connection, each camera can provide a live view of the gravestone and its immediate surroundings, which AFTR refers to as “an eternal connection.” You can decide whether to view this as a new form of public surveillance or a narrowly targeted way to interact with a small and particularly sacred plot of land.”
This blog post by funeral industry blog Cräkn focuses on women leaders in the funeral industry. They included Gail Rubin, who provided this quote about AFTR:
“One new technology that did not exist 10 years ago is AFTR. I’m excited to see this app and new technology providing cemeteries with a way to generate new income from existing burials. It allows families to stay connected with their loved ones through video and audio connections to the final resting place.“