Earlier this year, Microsoft patented conversational AI technology that can preserve personas of the deceased through chatbots, in an effort that appeals to the softer side of human beings. Stonses, a Dubai-based startup, has similarly launched a blockchain-powered platform, one that will enable users to preserve memories of their loved ones in a digital format. Stonses’ platform, which enables its users to create unique digital identities of real-world objects, is based on Verofax‘s blockchain-powered asset management and NFT platform.
In today’s digital era, memories associated with people exist in the physical as well as the digital world. Pictures may contain real-world objects that hold emotional significance, while many people associate key events’ with objects like physical locations, family videos, wedding gifts, or even household items, which can carry priceless memories of a person we were close to. However, these memories may be scattered on phones and across locations, some are lost and others are discarded, while memories associated with them are also lost. Stonses aims to bring a permanence to those memories, through digital replicas of real-world objects linked to NFTs created by family friends and colleagues.
To make this happen, Stonses’ memorial platform leverages NFT technology with QR codes as Physical interactions, which the user can attach to any object that reminds them of their loved ones. A digital replica of the object is then built, and a unique identity is assigned to the object. This data is loaded onto an immutable blockchain, which enables the user to preserve the object and its associated memories forever. The user, however, retains complete control over the data, and decides which is made public and what remains private, defining who has the right to create memories and who has only read access. By scanning the QR tag that connects the object to its digital replica, the user can instantly bring it, and the memories associated with that object, back to life. Thus, the QR tag serves as the bridge between a person’s memories and objects associated with them, for sharing with the public, amongst close family or a friends network securely, with Blockchain.
Stonses’ memorial platform is built on top of Verofax’s immutable blockchain application, which brings decentralised trust and verifiability to digital objects. The QR code is a unique identifier that represents the digital object. As smartphone penetration levels go higher each year, such nimble technologies carry the potential for mainstream adoption. The shift from hardcopies to digital copies of images, books, and music is a clear signal that points to the appeal of digital objects over physical ones.
Chief executive officer of Stonses, Miha Balek says “The personalised gifts industry is expected to reach $43.3billion by 2027 while objects are increasingly associated with people who own, use, or gift them. Digital and physical objects make up digital tokens, protected by Blockchain technology. Stonses’ memorial platform is the first to help people preserve and exchange their personal belongings across generations with technology. Expect other functionalities to include treasured assets to be transferred, with ownership based on smart contracts.”
Wassim Merheby, CEO of Verofax, adds “When an object is replicated or digitally combined with certified content, its replica is called a digital twin or non-fungible Token. The first NFT project was launched in 2015 on the Ethereum blockchain, but today assets and belongings can be tokenised digitally by making use of blockchain technology, which helps establish ownership and identity and seamless conditional transfer among user wallets.
“Verofax’s blockchain-based asset management platform, which shoulders Stonses’ memorial platform, is also being leveraged for other use-cases across industries. For example, retailers are using Verofax’s solution to render digital identities to their products along with information around their origin, composition, and environmental sustainability.
“The ability to interface stakeholders securely and enable easy asset transfer and content access opens up new possibilities for organisations like Stonses, which is leveraging the direct-to-consumer interface to consolidate memories and assets of significance value. Stonses business model adds value to our personal lives, value that goes beyond the realm of monetary measures and efficiencies to that of meaningfulness.”