Message from the grave, straight to your cell phone

RosettaStone products use near-field communication to stream personal information, photos, and even messages from the deceased lying beneath to any mobile device.

Juniper Foo
2 min read


Yet more ways for the dearly departed to reach out from beyond the grave. We've seen memorializing on Facebook, even tombstones with video screens where the dead get to speak their piece in an endless loop. Now, there's yet another way to communicate with the dead, high-tech style, minus the abracadabra of seances and mediums.

A Phoenix-based company called Objecs has created the Memorial RosettaStone Tablet, which makes it possible for cemetery visitors to access text and images merely by touching a cell phone to a headstone.

Bearing the tagline "be discovered--3,200 years from today," the product is available as an iPod-size stone tablet or a coin-size stick-on polymer tag that adheres directly to the headstone. It's microchip-enabled and uses NFC (near-field communication, a subset of RFID) to stream personal information, photos, and even messages from the deceased lying beneath to any Internet-enabled mobile device.

At $225, consider this a "lifetime" investment if you're dead concerned about vanishing into obscurity down the generations. If you opt for the tablet version, you can even personalize the gadget with images that tell a bit about the deceased: bicyclist, artist, guitar player, mail carrier, and so on.

This isn't a totally novel idea. The enterprising Japanese have had their own Ishinokoe, or "voice of stone," with commemoration windows that sport Japan's version of a 2D bar code (the QR Code) inside.

Visitors simply snap a picture of the code with their mobile phone, and voila, instant access to the deceased's photos and profile. Going one step further, this will eventually even keep a log of visitors, as well as enable virtual grave visiting via cell phone for added convenience. For better or for worse, till death do us not part, so it would seem.

(Source: Crave Asia via Discovery)