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Cemeteries now providing digital experience

A Russian inventor has designed a state-of-the-art gravestone that acts as an interactive computer. Complete with photos and blogs, Andrey Golovin thinks it is the best way to keep the memory of a loved one alive.

He hopes his hi-tech headstones will soon head to Russian cemeteries.

“This idea came to me when I was at a cemetery. I was looking at the graves there, and they all had one thing in common: they all had a name, the date of birth, and the date of death. And there is always this dash between the two dates. This dash represents the person’s entire life – but you don’t know anything about these people and their lives,” said Andrey, explaining how the idea occurred to him.

“TV tombs” are interactive memorials that allow mourners to upload pictures, video clips, and articles about their dearly departed. With a touch of the screen visitors can not only learn about loved ones, but also see them as they once were.

Typically, cemetery visitors leave flowers and cards at their loved one’s grave site. However, once TV tombs are up and running, they will be able to leave video messages with the help of a webcam.

Andrey’s gadgets are slated to come to cemeteries next year – but in the form of screens that provide general information, like plot locations. TV tombs will arrive later if there is enough interest.

Nikita Vysotsky, son of famous Soviet singer and actor Vladimir Vysotsky who died in 1980 of heart failure, believes cemeteries should be a place of rest for the dead and quiet reflection for the living.

“I think cemeteries will do fine without technological gadgets,” Nikita says. “I can just imagine this picture – a crowd in front of a monitor, people click all over the place looking for information, like at an Internet cafe. In my opinion, it will not be ethical.”

Nowadays, technology drives our everyday lives, but whether or not it will affect our afterlife also is yet to be seen.