HomeTechnologyGadgetsIn Memoriam device detects when someone dies alone

In Memoriam device detects when someone dies alone

Designer Ony Yan has created a two-part system that can be installed in single-person households to alert neighbors in case of their deadand is designed to “encourage a community to care for each other”.

In Memoriam, a working prototype system that can be placed in homes, consists of a battery-operated odor detector and a signal lamp that are connected wirelessly.

A signal lamp lets passers-by know that someone has died

Subtle in shape and color, the white odor detector attaches discreetly to a wall and responds to the sulfur compounds released when a human body decays after death.

The black signal lamp – which is placed at the entrance of the home – then receives this information wirelessly from the detector. A built-in servo motor tilts the top part of the lamp 45 degrees, revealing a glowing light informed by candles designed to attract the attention of neighbors and passersby.

odor detector
The odor detector is composed of metal, wires and a printed circuit board encased in polystyrene

“The odor detector hangs at eye level – or breathing level – because my chosen volatile organic compounds as indicators of decay, in this case sulfur compounds, are heavier than the ambient air,” explains Alone.

“It’s similar to installing carbon monoxide detectors, which are often placed at the same height.”

odor detector
It can be installed on a living room wall

Ony created the project as part of her bachelor thesis while studying Industrial Design at Berlin University.

The designer told Dezeen that she created the project after “a tragic case” in her neighborhood where someone died and their body wasn’t discovered until much later when it started to rot.

“I became aware of similar deaths in Berlin and realized through research and interviews that this is becoming an increasingly global phenomenon,” said Ony.

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“The deceased are often discovered by relatives without any mental preparation and it is a very traumatic experience. Also rotten corpses call for extensive core renovations.” [to homes] and can leave spaces uninhabited for long periods of time.”

In Memoriam
In Memoriam was created to promote cohesion in the community

Ony explained that she chose polystyrene for the housing of the odor detector because of the electrical insulation, while the metal coating brass covering the signal lamp oxidizes over time and takes on a similar color and texture to the skin of a corpse.

According to the designer, this is to remind community members that the lamp needs to be polished. This reinforces the message to care for your neighbors and further encourages people to communicate with each other in urban areas.

“In Memoriam translates as ‘remembering someone’. The moment the signal lamp is on, the light not only serves as a signal for the community of the house, but also symbolically reminds the deceased,” Ony reflects.

“The tilting mechanism of the lamp and the slow rise of the cone of light should also symbolize the lighting of a funeral candle. I thought the name was appropriate because I not only want to remember the deceased, but also encourage a community to care for each of them .” other.”

Other death related designs include a biodegradable urn by Claesson Koivisto Rune and a “living coffin” made from mushroom mycelium.

The images and video are courtesy of Ony Yan.



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