If you’ve ever cleaned out a wood stove, fire pit or fireplace, you know ashes have a way of getting all over everything. Consider, then, the potential for terrible UX when dealing with the cremated remains of a loved one, which are typically stored in urns or boxes. As Bloomberg points out:
One entrepreneur, Justin Crowe had been thinking about this since his grandfather passed away in 2014. And when he started asking friends about what they did with ashes, he heard all kinds of horror stories. One talked about the travails of scattering them on a windy day. Another described sweeping up remains strewn with bone bits after they spilled….
“We don’t accept this type of poor experience in any other part of modern life, so why are we accepting it around what should be one of our most treasured possessions?” Crowe said. “It shocked me that for all of the inspiring stories I heard about people’s lives, there were these really tragic stories about living with cremated remains.”
Crowe subsequently started a company, Parting Stone, that transforms ash from cremated humans—or pets—into a much more UX-friendly form factor: Smooth pebbles.
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Their process first removes contaminants from the remains (implants, surgical screws or staples), adds water and “a small amount” of an unspecified binding material to transform the ash into a clay-like material, and heats the mixture in a kiln to produce the pebbles.
Interestingly enough, the color of the pebbles varies from person to person. While we all walk around the planet in our natural and varying skin colors, I figured that once that was burned off, we’d all be the same tones underneath, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Perhaps the phrase “You are what you eat” comes into play here.
Parting Stone’s services run $695 for humans, $345 for dogs and $295 for cats.