NFC breathes new life into tombstones
A dead technology for dead customers
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.
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).
A solution looking for a problem
Yeah, digital data has such awesome longevity compared to words carved into solid granite or marble, doesn't it? Those ProWrite files I have on Amiga-formatted floppies are SOOOO much easier to read than the inscription on my granny's headstone which dates to about the same time period. Digital makes everything BETTER!
Actually the problem this solves, and solves quite effectively, is that age old one: how to separate fools from their money more quickly.
This could be useful
if it included GPS for tracking the undead
'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'
'Sorry, this site is currently under decomposition - please try again later'
yeah, ok, it sounded better in my head(stone).
Judging by the example one shown in the pic, John Doe was a family man living in the US, who carried a shield, either spent most of his time leaning forwards at an improbable angle or once put his foot through a staircase. He also apparently banged wooden stakes into things with his bare fists? and, had some form of nuclear-based super powers?
Nuclear powered grave stone?
Hmm gravestone equipped with a holographic projector, where the deceased could leave a video about themselves and their experiences would be interesting and useful for ancestral research purposes. Also a message of "Stop standing on me!!" to stop people walking on graves would be quite useful too.
Only issue would be powering it, solar would get dirty too quick and struggle to provide the energy, nuclear.....could be a goer, plus fringe benefits of supplying any excess to the grid, post death carbon footprint reduction? ;-) Of course the average UK "man / woman on the street" would freak about "killer nukes irradiating our dearly departed"