Now playing at a cemetery near you

I've been to a couple of cemeteries lately where--amid green grass, ambient bird-chirping and occasional cries of sorrow--my reflective mood was disrupted by the sound of cell phones ringing. Sure, I could just chalk it up to some bad cell phone etiquette, but it also struck me as a clash between the everyday multimedia rat race and the reflective mood that fills the air during a time of mourning.

video tombstone
Credit: Vidstone

For similar reasons, I'm a bit apprehensive about one of society's latest technological advances--the video tombstone. Miami-based Vidstone founder Sergio E. Aguirre came up with the idea for the Vidstone Serenity Panel after watching a multimedia tribute for a deceased relative, according to the company's Web site.

The subject of a recent Associated Press story, the Serenity Panel is a 7-inch LCD panel that can be attached to almost any upright or slanted gravesite monument, featuring a 5- to 8-minute photo slideshow. It runs on solar panel, is activated by a button and has weatherproof audio jacks.

While not for me, the Serenity Panel is an innovative concept that gives people another way to memorialize their loved ones. For example, a Tennessee woman featured on the Vidstone's site sees it as a way to perpetuate the memory of her daughter killed on prom night by a drunk driver, "and maybe save the life of another child," she said.

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About the author

Michelle Meyers, associate editor, has been writing and editing CNET News stories since 2005. But she's still working to shed some of her old newspaper ways, first honed when copy was actually cut and pasted. When she's not fixing typos and tightening sentences, she's working with reporters on story ideas, tracking media happenings, or freshening up CNET News' home page.

 

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