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NFC breathes new life into tombstones

A dead technology for dead customers

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

An American outfit has started selling RFID tags for embedding in headstones, making life easier for the next generation of the Time Team.

A 'Personal RosettaStone', utilising technology from Objecs as reported by NFC World, will set you back something between a tenner and two hundred quid depending on how long you want people to be able to read your details, and comes with useful icons* in case humanity has moved beyond the use of radio frequencies by then.

NFC-enabled headstone

The tags come in adhesive form good for 300 years, or embedded in granite for that 3,000-years-plus longevity. Assuming, of course, that the NFC standard lasts that long.

As specified by the NFC-Forum's standard, the tags can use induced current to respond with a URL where the owner, or the owner's heirs, have uploaded personal information about the deceased. So long as the company's servers are still up and running, anyway.

That seems like a lot of what-ifs to us. We'd not lay even money that the NFC-Forum's standard will be around in a decade, let alone 3,200 years, and it seems a leap of faith to imagine that the company will still be in business three millennia hence.

So perhaps the Personal RosettaStone is better viewed as something to fox a future Tony Robinson. Strange symbols on the outside and a mysterious radio response at 13.56MHz, should confuse him for a while.

*Including ones to identify the corpse as a "career criminal" or professional boxer, among others (pdf).

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