Send your texts 25 years into the future

incubate text messages

Imagine getting a voicemail from your grandmother years after her death. Or, on your 18th birthday, a video of your dad rocking you to sleep as a baby.

It's possible now, thanks to a new app that lets users send texts, photos, videos and voicemails up to 25 years into the future. The app, called Incubate: The Time-Delay Messenger, launched this month. While there are some similar apps, this one is special because of its focus on social networking.

"Everyone has a need to send a strategically-timed message, whether they know it or not," said co-founder Michael McCluney.

McCluney, a serial entrepreneur with a background in real estate and tech, ran the idea of a digital time capsule by friends at Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB) a few years ago. They were encouraging, so he set out to build it.

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As he developed the app, he kept the focus on engaging users. People get hooked because they know when they've been sent something, and the anticipation keeps them interested.

"Emotionally, that's the component that resonates really, really well," McCluney said.

A user always knows the total number of messages that are "incubating" -- but not who sent them or when they'll be delivered. The company describes it as an "untapped memory bank waiting to be discovered."

People have to download the free app in order to send or receive messages, and there's also a way for parents to build up messages for their kids before they have a phone.

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McCluney wouldn't say how many people have downloaded Incubate so far, but he says engagement has been strong and the company is nearing its seed funding goal of $500,000.

There are already two hashtags people are using in relation to the app.

"#Drinkubating, that's been pretty popular," McCluney said. That's when one of your drunk friends does something stupid, and you can remind them of it days, weeks or even years into the future. (Much less romantic than using the app on your wedding day and sending your beloved a message years later.)

There's also "#Incubombing," where friends will all set messages to be delivered on a certain day, flooding that person's phone with messages, videos and photos.

"That's been a big hit with the kids," McCluney said.

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