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From the organisers of

Interactive gravestones

7 April 2017

Better with a 48in video screen?

Thanks to the Irish followers of this website for sending us a link to a story posted on the website of the Irish Times today (7 April) with Reuters credited as the source. The newspaper reports that a Slovenian firm is putting 48in video screens into stone memorials. If you stand in front of the memorial for a while, the screen comes 'alive' with video, pictures, or any digital content entered into it.

Natural Stone Specialist magazine has reported previously on the incorporation of QR codes on to memorials, so the bereaved can view recorded content on mobile phones and tablets, but QR codes have not been a particular success and a 48in screen is a whole different dimension.

The interactive headstones sell for about €3,000 each.

The Pobrezje cemetery on the outskirts of Maribor, Slovenia’s second largest city, has set up a prototype of the weather-proof and vandal-proof digital tombstone that can interact with visitors. The cemetery claims it is the first digital tombstone in the world.

Apparently, at first glance it looks like any other gravestone. When nobody is nearby it shows the person’s name and the years of their birth and death. This saves energy and prolongs the life of the screen.

The tombstone was developed with the help of Milan Zorman, a professor of computing at the University of Maribor, who said he is now working on a special smartphone application that will further increase the tombstone’s interactivity.

"We intend to bring the sound to earphones connected to a mobile phone running the app. That way visitors would be able to listen to videos displayed on the screen," Prof Zorman is reported in the Irish Times as saying. He says the addition of speakers on the gravestone would be too instrusive for a cemetery.

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