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Artifact records your family history like a podcast

Your family history is unique to you, and with how special it is, we shouldn’t rely on word-of-mouth alone. Artifact is here to make history.

Mic and headphones representing artifact recordings

Family history is something unique to all of us. Though some of us may share similar stories, there is always one thing that makes our history different from someone else. Similar to a snowflake – no two are exactly the same.

We may get family traditions or tidbits of fascinating history passed down to us from parents or grandparents, or maybe even aunts or uncles. Over time, you pass those stories down, and along they go, but you never quite tell that story the same way Grandma did. Or maybe you can’t remember all the little details. Sometimes you write it down, but those writings become lost or damaged and you are right back to wanting to share these stories, but not quite sure what’s accurate and what might be missing. Like a game of telephone.

Well now, thankfully, there’s an app for that. Artifact is a history recording app and instead of using DNA like Ancestry, they use audio similar to podcasts to paint a picture of family history. The startup created by Ross Chanin and George Quraishi was initially conceived due to Chanin’s loss of his grandfather and the stories that passed with him that Chanin never got to hear.

Artifact currently has 10k users across 15 different countries. The way it works is someone signs up and requests an interview either for themselves or someone else. There is a fee of $149 which feels steep at first, but Artifact takes care of everything. A journalist is the one conducting the interview, the editing, and any sound or music placement, as well as a listing page where photos can be uploaded.

After it’s all completed, it can be shared amongst family and friends. All the interviews are uploaded to a cloud system – for very personal things like telling a life story – this could put some people on edge. However, Chanin assured Tech Crunch that no data is ever shared from the use of their services and all data remains stored unless the consumer decides to delete their account or just delete the pages connected to their account.

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This is such a beautiful idea. As someone who knows next to nothing regarding their family history, Artifact hits close to home. It makes me want to record all my adventures so that later down the line someone has a piece of our family history even if it’s just mine.

Every day, we don’t know if it’ll be our last, so recording your life story or tidbits to be listened to later might prove to bring closure to those that will miss you most.

I think we all strive to leave behind a piece of ourselves. This is just another way to do it.

A native New Englander who migrated to Austin on a whim, Stephanie Dominique is a freelance copywriter, novelist, and certificate enthusiast. When she's not getting howled at by two dachshunds or inhaling enough sugar to put a giant into shock, she is reading, cooking or writing about her passions.

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