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Video Tombstones

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the dead-tv dept.

Technology 426

Rio writes "A new company plans to unveil new high-tech tombstones with embedded flat screen monitors that would allow visitors to play memorial videos of the deceased. Joe Joachim, who says he wants to be the Walt Disney of the funeral business, plans to show the Vidstone this year at the annual funeral directors convention. The solar-powered Vidstone will play a video of the person's life at the touch of a button."

cancel ×

426 comments

Hmm... (5, Funny)

Musteval (817324) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357068)

Is the feed live from inside the coffin?

Re:Hmm... (4, Funny)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357101)

Funny, but even funnier would be to have a video playing on continuous loop of someone trying to claw their way out.

Re:Hmm... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357108)

It worked for a while. Here's [dyndns.org] a screen capture.

Re:Hmm... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357155)

Unless you want to see a weird sexual act. Don't click on that link.

Re:Hmm... (3, Funny)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357127)

The worms come in, the worms go out.

I thought it was running Linux? If you wanted to watch worms make sure they have the LCD running unpatched Windows ;)

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357145)

Am I the only one who would like to be a fly on the wall for the annual funeral directors convention?

This Just In! (3, Interesting)

GuitarNeophyte (636993) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357197)

"A rash of tombstone thievery has been noted in recent months, as youth convert them into home entertainment systems. A new job market, however, has sprung up, as satellite-tracking of tombstones becomes the newest fad."

Who knew that one day, we'd have to worry about a new tombstone-trade in the black market.

Luke
----
ChristianNerds.com - An Easy-to-Understand Encyclopedia of Computer Knowledge/a [christiannerds.com]

Re:Hmm... (1)

b0r1s (170449) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357234)

More useful would be good-bye messages. Easy to do with video blog services like vobbo [vobbo.com] .

"What do you want on your Tombstone?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357069)

"Pepparoni and Mushroom."

Re:"What do you want on your Tombstone?" (1)

Whisperingwolf (309006) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357117)

Ha ha ha...er wait that wasn't funny at all.

Fun to be had by all... (5, Funny)

mopslik (688435) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357070)

  1. Purchase plot, headstone
  2. Make video of you screaming, clawing at the lid of coffin
  3. ???
  4. Horrify others!

Sigh me without mod points (1)

0xdeaddead (797696) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357084)

but dam, this is funny!

Re:Fun to be had by all... (5, Funny)

zoomzit (860737) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357095)

Wonderful. Now mom can nag me from the grave.

Re:Fun to be had by all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357149)

Now if hackers break in, this will bring new life to the zombie virus. [nai.com]

Jim

Re:Fun to be had by all... (1)

madprogrammer (214633) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357190)

I wonder how long before one of these is hacked and someone puts Linux on it...

I guess Windows would be more appropriate though

Re:Fun to be had by all... (2, Interesting)

digitalamish (449285) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357241)

Damn, that's funny. Think of all of the possibilities!

How about a video of...
an empty coffin?
dialing a phone (complete with fake ringer on tombstone).
someone else.

Re:Fun to be had by all... (2, Funny)

dzafez (897002) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357243)

yes finally !! LAN-party till death ... AND BEYOND !!!

Clustering! (2, Funny)

GuitarNeophyte (636993) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357244)

You could make quite a powerful supercomputer clustering a whole graveyard word of processors! Or use them as Wifi Access points. Ah, the possibilities are endless... well, until they're stolen.

Slashdot's epitaph... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357074)

Slashdot's epitaph will read "Nothing for you to see here. Please move along."

One word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357077)

Tacky.

I wonder if they'll upgrade (2, Funny)

soulctcher (581951) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357078)

Elvis' gravesite when that happens. It'd be a nice interactive experience.

Re:I wonder if they'll upgrade (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357134)

They could do it now: http://www.vidstone.com/ [vidstone.com] has these for sale right now- their services include scanning in your snapshots, mixing them with music, 30 day "tribute" website where you can preview before it gets burned into the memory of the tombstone, and local funeral homes doing the rest.

Re:I wonder if they'll upgrade (1)

soulctcher (581951) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357157)

Well then...I think we should all write a letter.

Re:I wonder if they'll upgrade (1)

rubberbando (784342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357219)

If they do, I wonder if they will have clips of him battling that mummy [imdb.com] before he died.

Great, but... (3, Interesting)

The Breeze (140484) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357079)

How are they going to stop the sun from destroying the video display? It's a big problem with ATM's & McDonald Drive Thrus here in Arizona...

Re:Great, but... (1)

inkdesign (7389) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357199)

From the looks of the picture, it has a door that closes when nobody is watching.

Re:Great, but... (1)

shawb (16347) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357208)

They have a little door over the display when it's not being viewed. This will probably be closed 99.99 percent of the time: when you go by graveyards how often do you actually see living people in there, besides actual funeral parties?

Re:Great, but... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357230)

From the pictures on the website- looks like ones that face east or west have a nice little door that stays closed most of the time, hiding the LCD.

Free LCDs! (5, Interesting)

Taevin (850923) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357083)

Hmm let's see. Large areas of land with little or no lighting and little or no security, filled with LCD screens... Sounds like the perfect opportunity for latenight theft.

More seriously:
"It could be offensive to some. I don't think it's appropriate or it's been tried enough on the grounds." Mt. Elliott Cemetery Association spokesman Michael Chilcote said.

I personally find it a little odd too but who is going to be offended by this? With all the religions and traditions in our society you'd think people would be more understanding and accepting of differences. Offended by an LCD screen on a tombstone? That's as rediculous as me being offended at someone wasting flowers by placing them around a grave instead of in nice vases and pots where, you know, the living can enjoy them.

Maybe it's just that I've always found societal views on death odd. I don't understand why people sit around crying about the fact that someone has died. Why not celebrate the life they lived? If anything, it seems like these LCD screens could do that well. Short clips of happy times, playing with their children and whatnot would be a great way to paint a nice picture of the person's life. I guess that's offensive though, nevermind.

Re:Free LCDs! (4, Informative)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357158)

>> but who is going to be offended by this?

You have got to be kidding, right? There are some people who are offended by others wearing hats indoors, use of the word "niggardly", and by the presence of children in church... ...andI haven't even scratched the surface of uptightness/ignorance.

Re:Free LCDs! (1)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357176)

I can understand the offensive emotion. It gives me the willys. I think that if someone wants to go that far, they could just get a video made themselves. Much more private. Now the interesting (although morbid) would be that there could be an 'art gallery' of peoples lives, uin the sense that you could randomly walk around and peep into someone elses life.

Re:Free LCDs! (1, Flamebait)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357184)

I don't understand why people sit around crying about the fact that someone has died. Why not celebrate the life they lived?

What makes you think that these are opposing viewpoints? You sound like someone not old enough to have experienced the death of anyone whose life you personally celebrated.

Re:Free LCDs! (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357193)

> Hmm let's see. Large areas of land with little or no lighting and little or no security, filled with LCD screens... Sounds like the perfect opportunity for latenight theft.

No Id Name
1 54550 Tackhead died in Graveyard. Killed by a Granite Block.

My vidstone will consist of a clip of Admiral Ackbar, with a voiceover saying "I told him it was a trap."

Re:Free LCDs! (2, Insightful)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357200)

Slightly OT, but this reminds me of something...

Lately there has been a surge of "In Memory of" decals on the back windows of cars around here. To me (and only me apperently) this beggs the question what's the memorial? The car? I don't want to offend anyone, but it sure seems like a poor (and kind of tacky) choice of a memorial to me, if only because of the fact that a car is so temporary.

But hey if it helps you through the mourning more power to you I guess

Re:Free LCDs! (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357205)

Generally its self pity that cause people to be overly upset at a funeral. The whoa is me.. whatever shall I do now syndrom. Though there are a few people I would think... Oh man that guy is gonna have a rough time in hell I feel sorry for em.

Re:Free LCDs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357220)

Someone mod the parent up on this one. I completely agree, when my grandmother died I didn't feel remorse or sad. I was happy that she was able to live as long as she did, and provide me with all the experiences she had. I truly believe that's what she would want me to feel, as I don't want people to sit around moping (spelling?) about how they miss me. Not that I don't miss her, because I do. I just understand that it happens and I feel its way more productive to be happy with the times we were able to share together.

On a side note, it's quite odd that my confirm word is butcher (thanks you incentive clod).

Venture capitalists are to blame (1)

GraWil (571101) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357086)

Thank you venture capitalists. Next time, please read the abstract before signing the cheque.

advertising (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357088)

if this gets popular, how long till someone is offering ads for it?

Re:advertising (1)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357195)

if this gets popular, how long till someone is offering ads for it?

Oh, there will be ads from day one. Ads for the viewers to purchase their own video tombstones.

At the end of each video, voiced by Wilford Brimely:

"This persons life brought to you by Vidstone. Select your own vidstone today at www.wtfisthisshit.com. Better buy one soon before it's all fists and elbows."

Re:advertising (1)

spyder913 (448266) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357203)

I'll sell the time for mine now! How about $50 a day for.... how about 100 years?

That'll be 1.8 million please!

PS, don't tell anyone but I might go for cremation so hopfully the screen on the urn is big enough...

hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357090)

Finally... a way to get in "touch" with my dead relatives!

What kind of videos.... (1)

dgos78 (881140) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357093)

...do they play for deceased porn stars?

How long will they last? (1)

WTBF (893340) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357094)

How long will the tombstones last until they die or (more likely) someone steals it for the screen?

Really, what is the point. (1)

chrisjwray (717883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357097)

Where I live, this wouldnt last 5 minutes before some kid runs off with it.
It would be great to have some kind of scary message with your face on it appear whenever somebody approaches your grave though.

Advertising (2, Interesting)

jazzman251 (887873) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357102)

This seems like something that advertisers would love to get their hands on.

Re:Advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357148)

"This persons death brought to you by...

MCDONALDS!!!!"

not enough info (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357104)

What is the screen made of?

How long will it last vs vandals?

And of course.... Are they networkable......

Slightly creepy but to each his own :)

Re:not enough info (1)

jazzman251 (887873) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357143)

What is the screen made of?

How long will it last vs vandals?

And of course.... Are they networkable......


you forgot some, like:
do they run linux?
can you make a beowulf cluster of them?

How to Order (2, Informative)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357105)

http://www.vidstone.com/ [vidstone.com] if you've got an immediate need. Looks like it only supports a sound-and-slideshow format so far, burned onto some sort of flash ROM before installation.

Thanks, but... (2, Funny)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357210)

I'm really hoping not to have an immediate need...

Nothing new. (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357106)

This is hardly new. Slashdot has reported on this a number of times in the last... what... four years?

screw video tombstones (1)

glen604 (750214) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357109)

I want my anti-stink spray!

hooray! (2, Funny)

lovebyte (81275) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357110)

I'd go and visit Hugh Huffner's tombstone when he dies!

The Simpsons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357111)

This is the THIRD invention I can think of that was shown as a joke on The Simpsons before and now somebody made real.

The second one being Tomaco and I can't remember the first actually....

Re:The Simpsons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357152)

Skittlebrau!

Nuts 'N Gum! (1)

1992 Called (893858) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357213)

Together at LAST!

Just out of curiousity... (1)

JKatan (712860) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357223)

what are the other two?

Walt Disney of the funeral business? (2, Funny)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357114)

Does anyone else find this description disturbing?

I have this image of a cemetery filled with Mickey Mouse ears on the tombstones, little Tinkerbell figurines sticking out of the ground on metal rods, and constant background music.

Re:Walt Disney of the funeral business? (1)

LordHatrus (763508) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357185)

No, but it is disturbing because Walt Disney DOESN'T HAVE a tombstone, he had himself frozen...

It seemed nice enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357119)

It sounds like a geniunely good idea, but I'm not impressed by the phrase "Walt Disney of tombstones".

Adult Entertainment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357121)

So what happens when an adult entertainer dies? Are they going to play their lifes work right there in the cemetery? That could get interesting, or sick, depending on how you see it.

Video of slashdotter in parents basement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357123)

This video would be not suitable for children.

Awesome! (1)

Canthros (5769) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357124)

It'll be the tackiest thing yet!

Ugh.

Max Headroom had this idea 20 years ago (1)

attemptedgoalie (634133) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357126)

But they expanded on it, and made it seem like you could talk to the deceased.

That show's ideas keep popping up in our time. They really had a keen eye on the direction of the media, technology, privacy, etc.

So now... (1)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357128)

I can't even kill myself to escape those horrible home videos my parents took.

Whatever happened to those plans to colonize Mars?

This has so many possibilities (1)

Recovering Hater (833107) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357129)

For sick humor that I can't even begin. This can't be real can it? For instance- you honestly could have the last say to any passersby.

OK..... (1)

bjheu (854460) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357133)

and when they break?...... I highly doubt anybody would be able to build a company around 'tombstone repair'

Re:OK..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357228)

Actually, tombstone repair and restoration is a big business.

Not new, but not bad. (2, Interesting)

kinglink (195330) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357135)

I have to say the more I see this idea the better it is. While I'm Christian, a group that is pretty solemn about death, some people want a little more flash to their tombstone and this is a great idea.

I mean if I could have the highlights of my life played it would make people remember the best moments of my life, rather then have a few words ingraved

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a moving picture should be worth a couple million. Of course it won't last as long as either but it'll be nice when it can go a hundred years, of course let's not forget that it'll increase the chance someone will vandalize your tombstone too.

Re:Not new, but not bad. (1)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357236)

Solemn about death? Maybe if the dead person wasn't a Christian. If they were we should be happy for them! They are in heaven now and eventually you will be to.

But that is just my two cents.

Sweet! (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357136)

Now we can waste even more of society's dwindling resources on the dead! Seriously, don't these screens burn out after 4 or 5 years. Of course, I suppose by then people have stopped visting the graves....

if it runs Windoze... (5, Funny)

TheLevelHeadedOne (700023) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357137)

It will give a whole new meaning to Blue Screen of Death when the machine dies

Thank you...thank you...thank you very much...I'll be here all week!

Sorry, but it's impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357138)

Joe Joachim, who says he wants to be the Walt Disney of the funeral business

If he wanted to be the Walt Disney of the funeral business, everyone would be cryogenically frozen, eliminating the need for funerals. It's an oxymoron.

What about audio... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357144)

It would make for a fun halloween if you could trip them remotely.

But depending on the content, it might be disruptive to other visitors.

Walt Disney? (1)

ChrisBennett (18205) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357147)

Saying he wants to be the Walt Disney of the funeral business is like saying he wants to be the Bill Gates of the toilet business.

I wonder (1)

RamboIII (899894) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357150)

how would this be useful?

I mean, while people have lots of photo's and video of their loved ones already, it would only serve as a tear-jerker at the damn gravesite, right?

Someone put Linux on these things (1)

pestilence669 (823950) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357154)

How long before /. has an article about someone putting Slackware on one of these? It's a more noble act than say... playing commercials.

OK, it has to be said.... (2, Funny)

kclittle (625128) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357159)

"Look, Jimmy, I can hack p0rn sites on Granny's tombstone!"

TombSTONEs (4, Interesting)

funny-jack (741994) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357160)

It seems to me that there's a good reason that tombstones are one thing that hasn't changed much at all with thousands of years of advancing technology.

Stone lasts a very long time. Can the same be said of LCD video displays?

Top Tombstones (5, Funny)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357163)

I call dibs on watching Jenna Jameson's tombstone!

I want an old-school tombstone (3, Insightful)

norminator (784674) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357167)

The nice thing about a classic tombstone is that it will last for a long, long time... who would put in a video screen that will last for just a few years, then succumb to damage from sun, rain, dust, and vandalism, all while turning the cemetery into a mini Las Vegas? Those close to the deceased can remember them with their own videos and photographs in their homes.

If I'm ever buried under one of these things... (5, Funny)

devorama (625557) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357172)

please make sure the aspect ratio is correct on my video! Did anyone see the picture from the article? Wow, what a cherubic baby! It drives me nuts (in life) to see everyone one watching stretched video on their LCDs all the time. Imagine having your pet peeve playing over your former corporeal existance for eternity.

Ummm. Another Monopoly (1)

Skiron (735617) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357173)

Tombstone has [error] in [unknown] - BSODeath )x666. Contact your Funereal director.

Timeless (4, Interesting)

BaudKarma (868193) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357174)

The cemetary by my house has headstones from the 1890's that are still in good condition and quite readable. I'm sure that in the year 2120 these LCD screens will still be working perfectly informing visitors all about the deceased.

This is one of the stupidest ideas I've seen in a long time. The only way it'll go anywhere is if some funeral home directors manage to guilt and manipulate grieving relations into buying the damn things.

What about ... (3, Funny)

PriceIke (751512) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357177)

How difficult would it be to hack the playback?

I'm not sure I'd want large naked breasts swinging over my grave site for years and ... er .. hmm. Now that I think about it, maybe I would want that.

Makes a whole new meaning for HDTV (1)

DigitalReverend (901909) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357178)

Hardly Decomposed Tombstone Video

BSOD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357181)

Could give a whole new meaning to the Blue Screen of Death.

No display tech has the longevity required (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357192)

Are the deceased's relatives going to have to subscribe to a maintainence plan or something?

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357194)

In other news, cheap 4 inch LCD's have hit eBay.

video tumb (1)

Bubba-T (578601) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357202)

Oh great, Now a life after death BLOG,

BSOD... (0, Redundant)

cosmicpossum (554246) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357207)

Certainly gives a new slant on Blue Screen of Death...

Well I know what *I* want on my tombstone (5, Funny)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357209)

Porn. Imagine the confusion and shame of passerbies getting stiffies in a graveyard. It would delect me from beyond the grave.

Great... (1)

andreMA (643885) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357214)

Now I can't escape tech support Hell even on the other side of the grave.

On the upside, it's not like I have anything better to do than wait on hold for hours on end.

Now I have seen everything... (2, Insightful)

nomad63 (686331) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357216)

Well, I am a technology buff and want to use it wherever possible but this is going a step beyond my understanding of taste. This is totally creepy. Let the dead people rest in peace instead of turning cemetaries into hi-tech showrooms.

Needless to say one should consider the tombstone thefts to get a free LCD display.

Technology belongs to this world not to the "*other*" side IMHO.

Grandpas Life . . . brought to you in part by Tide (1)

willynate (804952) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357239)

This person's story will appear right after this message from our sponser.

Just wait till these get hacked... (2, Funny)

inkdesign (7389) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357245)

Father (sad): Lets watch mothers video.
Son: OK Dad.
Video Screen: GOATSE.CX!!!!

Sorta like... (1)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357248)

Sorta like the Blue screen of Death...only creepier, and for real.

I can see the marketing tagline now... (1)

Dirk Pitt (90561) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357249)

"Vidstone: Trivializing Life, One Chump At A Time"

Offensive? (2, Interesting)

kid_wonder (21480) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357251)

"It could be offensive to some. I don't think it's appropriate..."

Could someone please explain why someone would think it is offensive or inappropriate? Exactly which tradition or long held belief that anyone might hold would this patently offend?

I would think that adding services such as creating the video and making DVDs for families could be a lucrative market (and good margins) which could be more easily introduced by having this tombstone on display.

What with the growing number of cremations these days (supposedly to reach 50% in the next 10 years) you would think that these funeral directors would be looking for new ways to make money.

I still don't see the issue here...

And to be sort-of humorous for a second, but mostly serious, if these things became popular I could see people visiting cemetaries to actually view _other_ peoples grave sites and seeing their life stories. That might be interesting. Until the flat screens start going kaput...
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