Patent Sought for Messages from Grave

Application for a U.S. patent has been filed by a California man for his system that allows the dead to speak from their tombs, New Scientist reported Thursday.

Robert Barrows of Burlingame has devised a hollow headstone fitted with a flat LCD touch screen.

It also houses a computer with a hard disc or microchip memory that allows the deceased to speak from the grave through a video message.

The tombstone would draw its electricity from the cemetery’s lighting system, and as a civil touch, comes with wireless headphones so as not to disturb others.

If his patent is granted, Barrows says he would encourage people to leave a parting video with their lawyer when making out a will.

Gary Collison, professor of American studies at Pennsylvania State University in Pittsburgh, thinks video tombstones are a natural progression from outsize monumental stonework.

“Cemeteries are places where people try to outdo each other,” he said. “This would certainly be a new way to do that.”

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