Latest boomer gadget: tombstone microchips

Microchip e microciop
Image by Un ragazzo chiamato Bi via Flickr

This may be one step farther than some of us want to go. But for those seeking to live, somehow, forever, the Canwest News Service reports on a new e-gimmick on the market and apparently targeting the boomer generation. There are several more paragraphs in writer Misty Harris‘ report, but this space suggests that the following, and particularly the last sentence, cover everything you really need to know.

Ensuring virtual life after death, new microchip-enabled headstones allow the Me Generation to share their stories from the grave, with passersby simply swiping markers with a cellphone to retrieve biographical details — everything from the deceased’s political beliefs to their favourite recipes.

“My wife and I had just lost relatives and found it so underwhelming, in a sense, to know that these people had contributed so much and yet their lives were being summed up with just names and dates,” says John Bottorff, founder of Objecs, the Arizona company behind the RosettaStone grave markers.

The palm-sized tablets can be mounted to existing headstones or installed on new ones. Each is engraved with custom symbols representing the deceased’s life — an Rx for a pharmacist, for example, or a sheriff’s star for a police officer — and contains a Near Field Communications radio-frequency identification tag, which allows biographical data to be loaded onto any NFC-enabled phone with the wave of a hand (NFC is expected to be standard on new mobile phones in North America by 2012).

A unique web ID is also engraved so people without NFC can raise the dead — or at least their personal histories — on any computer.

As early as 2015, seniors will outnumber children for the first time in Canadian history, while the number of centenarians is projected to triple — perhaps even quadruple — by 2036.

For end-trepreneurs, this represents a killer opportunity.

Microchip tombstones latest boomer gadget.