MARIBOR, Slovenia (Reuters) - A firm in Slovenia are giving tombstones a 21st-century makeover, with 48-inch interactive screens that can show pictures, video and other digital content.
The Pobrezje cemetery on the outskirts of Maribor, Slovenia's second largest city, recently set up a prototype of a weather-proof and vandal-proof digital tombstone that can interact with visitors.
At first glance, it looks like any other but standing in front of it for a few seconds activates its sensors and brings it to life, turning it into an interactive screen capable of playing just about any kind of digital content.
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"This tombstone makes it possible to put anything next to the deceased person's name and surname, you can write an entire novel if you like. You can put pictures, or a film there," Saso Radovanovic, head of the company Bioenergija which sells the tombstones, told Reuters.
"The tombstone has a sensor so that when nobody is around it only shows the person's name and the years of their birth and death... This saves energy and the screen itself, and helps extend the tombstone's lifetime," he added.
The tombstone was developed with the help of Milan Zorman, a professor of computing at the University of Maribor who said that they are working on a special smartphone application, which 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," said Zorman, adding that speakers would be too loud for the cemetery.
The cemetery claims the 48-inch-screen version they put up is the first digital tombstone in the world. Radovanovic said they have already received a few orders for the product which costs 3,000 euros ($3,189).
(Reporting by Gasper Lubej, writing by Marja Novak; Editing by Toby Davis)