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Tagged Tablets Memorialize the Deceased

The RosettaStone, containing a passive 13.56 MHz RFID tag, is designed to be either taken home as a keepsake or installed on a gravestone, to provide information regarding a departed loved one.
By Claire Swedberg
"We treat our files like genealogical records," says John Bottorff, Objecs' owner. "If our company goes away, the records are still preserved." The data is stored on the RosettaStone and PWDB sites, and the firm plans to provide the data "on another trusted Internet archive environment," Bottorff says, though he adds that he cannot yet name which server this will be. This data, he says, could be shared with another requested server, such as a mortuary's site.


A passive 13.56 MHz RFID tag is attached to the back of each RosettaStone tablet.

The granite tablet, which is thinner than the travertine version—approximately 0.3 inch in thickness, versus 0.4 inch—is more likely to be attached to a headstone itself. Installation is typically performed by the headstone manufacturer, by cutting a 1/4-inch recess into the stone and inserting the tablet into that space. Alternatively, the tablet also comes with an adhesive strip that the consumer could then use to apply it directly to a headstone's surface. Because the tablet is made of granite, it has a long lifetime, estimated at 3,200 years.

For those seeking a green burial or cremation, Bottorff says, the travertine tablet has been gaining interest, because it offers a method for memorializing an individual who does not have a grave marker. The tablet would be taken home as a family keepsake.

To date, the company has sold fewer than 100 of the tablets since they were introduced this year, but with as NFC technology is included in more American phones in the future, Bottorff expects that the NFC chip will become an important product feature. Interest has been growing, he indicates, and customers now have a limited wait for their personal tablet. Many orders, he says, are made directly through the company's RosettaStone Web site, and are being placed for the living, such as those ordering their own tablet to leave for their children, with no intention of installing the tablet on a headstone, but simply providing it for the family to keep as a remembrance.

The travertine tablet costs $205, while the granite is priced at $225.

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