Following the announcement of a patent for the video enhanced gravemarker, Scott G ponders the next phase of cemetery chic. Might there be an iTomb in your future?

Hats off and a twenty-one gun salute to television commercial producer Robert Barrows, recent recipient of U.S. Patent #7089495 for an invention called the Video Enhanced Gravemarker (VEG). Note: there will be no Veg-o-Matic comments in this story (other than this one, of course).

iTomb Photo illustration by SnookBasically, the VEG will enable you to broadcast almost anything from your grave. You have to admit that Mr. Barrows is certainly thinking outside the box.

Grave content may be offered for free, with sponsorship, or via pay-per-view. There is room for interactivity as visitors can record their own messages, which gives your graveside monument something in common with blogs or Wikipedia.

If this catches on, it seems as if the element of portability will become an issue. Why not carry around an audio-visual memorial of Uncle Walter? Apple can join the parade with the iTomb.

DRM (Deceased Rights Management)
“The Video Enhanced Gravemarker will have some interesting implications on some major aspects of civilization,” Barrows notes, including free speech, Western culture’s view of death, estate law, storytelling, publishing, DRM (deceased rights management), and history itself.

What if the departed’s final words contain misstatements of fact? Contemporary philosopher P. Barton Marcus suggests “Death, lies and videotape” as a possible title for this piece. Designer Phil Hatten suggests a new social networking site: “”

Tourist Destination
“Video tombstones will also make cemeteries fascinating places to visit,” states Barrows. “Ordinary people could become famous after death,” Marcus notes. And the graves of famous folks “would attract hordes of popcorn-munching visitors. Although I guess they do already,” he added.

With an Internet-connected iTomb, we’ll all be able to broadcast from beyond the grave.

What a great time to be alive. I mean dead. No, wait…uh, what a way to go.

Photo illustration by Snook.
[tags]G-Man, Gman, gman marketing, iTomb, Scott G, Communication Nation, advertising, marketing, ad rants, death, tombstone[/tags]