Funeral Innovations: Digital Tombstones
Gravesites are being taken into the digital age with these personalized interactive tombstones; bringing the way we mourn and memorialize the dead firmly into the 21st Century.
A Slovenian company called Bioenergija, in collaboration with Milan Zorman, a computing professor at the University of Maribor, has unveiled the world’s first digital tombstone:
The tombstone is sense-activated; it is designed to look like any normal tombstone until it is awakened by movement. The tombstone hosts an interactive touchscreen that is able to show pictures, videos and other digital content, enabling for the most personalized tombstone the world has seen. It is weather-resistant, and is expected to be connectable to mobile phones though an app so that sound can be heard through headphones. The device will not have loudspeakers, so as to avoid disrupting the peace in graveyards.
The tombstones are currently on trial in Maribor, in the Pobrezje cemetery in Slovenia.
- Audio capabilities
- Can host almost any digital material
- €3,000 cost
- Potential to be connected to a mobile app
Saso Radovanovic told Reuters: “This tombstone makes it possible to put anything next to the deceased person’s name and surname, you can write an entire novel if you like. You can put pictures, or a film there.” He and his company Bioenergija certainly have a bold vision for the future of gravesites.
The motion-sensor function of the tombstone ensures that it is energy saving, and is not a constant distraction from all the other traditional graves in the cemetery. Weather-proof interactive screens of this kind have been around for a while in advertising (such as the smart-screens by JCDecaux), but have not yet been deployed in a grave-site context before now. This is a considerable innovation on the headstones that host QR codes, which link the viewer to a personalized website through their mobile.
This latest development by Bioenergija certainly doesn’t lessen the considerable cost of funeral-planning, though, at approximately €3,000 a pop. Reuters have reported that a number of orders have been placed on the digital tombstone, however. We are yet to see whether this new invention will carry into the UK and beyond. We are always looking for new and meaningful ways to honour our loved-ones. Perhaps digital tombstones will be the answer for you!