CALGARY — It’s a Calgary-based app whose creator says it’s a way to capture and protect personal life stories and hand it onto loved ones as a digital legacy.
Tim Roberts came up with the idea of Echobox Memory Vault in 2015 after watching a YouTube video. It was of a widower in the UK who was devastated after a voice recording of his late wife was lost. Roberts thought there should be a better way of storing memories and set off to work on a solution.
“I mean everybody has loved ones and everybody holds things dear,” said Roberts. “We just tried to make a product that could just encapsulate all of that in a loving, trusting environment that’s all about you.”
He’s partnered with his wife Tannis Roberts and launched Echobox in July of 2020 and it’s growing in popularity.
“It has just gone into the health care sector,” said Roberts. “Into all sorts of things we didn’t expect, dementia care, senior care, palliative care.”
It’s a free app and the idea is very different from social media platforms. It’s a secure site by invitation only to see what’s stored. There are no ‘likes’, ‘comments’ or advertisements, just personal memories.
“The whole idea is that the loved ones and friends that you have can go on there and really immerse themselves in your story, in your experiences,” said Roberts. “They can listen to the sound of your voice, they can drink a glass of your favourite wine, go on a hike that you mentioned that you loved in Banff somewhere.”
And since it’s a cloud-based app, all of the things put in that mean so much are safe from fire, theft, flood and loss through the ravages of time.
Danielle Cadieux signed up for the free app and has shared it with all her family including her husband Wade Stewart and 12-year-old daughter Bailey Stewart.
“It’s not like collecting your videos like we used to do or the scrapbooks that we’d make or the baby books,” said Cadieux. “It’s very one stop shop which I love that idea cause it’s simple.”
Cadieux wishes she had the app when her husband’s mother passed a few years ago.
“Like how great would it have been to my mother-in-law to sing happy birthday, something that she always loved to do, (or wish) Merry Christmas, (or) just talking about her grand daughter,” said Cadieux.
Now Cadieux is helping her daughter Bailey add to her own story to share with family and friends.
“And it’s in one place and you can share it all (in) safety,” said Cadieux. “My parents are connected to use it so they can look and I can look at theirs but it’s not open to everyone else.”
The app is a way for many separated geographically to connect during the pandemic.
“Echobox can help people out through COVID,” said Roberts. “It’s a perfect way to stay safe, to stay close with your friends and family without actually being in the same little spot with them.”
Learn more about the app here: www.Echobox.ca