They offer a very short summary of a person’s life.
But two Cork brothers are on a mission to help enhance the depth of information displayed about the deceased on the average gravestone… and they’ve invented a simple gadget anyone can use to make it happen.
EmpathyStone is the brainchild of locals Kevin and Shay Forde, who invented it as a way to bring digital extras to any physical location. It uses NFC technology, built into virtually all phones nowadays, to allow the user to access a web page created by the site owner.
“Apart from names and dates, possibly a single image is about all that can currently go on a traditional headstone,” Kevin told Yay Cork.
“EmpathyStone allows us to have as much or as little information available to visitors. It can contain just a few extra words, a poem or a photograph (not visible until a person chooses to view) or as much as a person’s life history, including images, videos and even links to related material.”
“Owners can set up and modify their page from any location, using their phone or PC.”
Ideal for those who want the last word…
“My brother completed an IT degree course a few years back but had not found employment in that field at that time, so I asked if he could develop a way to allow people to easily send pictures and text to a page for this purpose,” says Kevin.
“Although initially believing it an awful idea, in time he came to see it more as I do: an optional extra – a way to find out a little more about the deceased, if someone has a mind to say more about them.
“Or for a person themselves to have the last word, beforehand, perhaps…”
The adhesive EmpathyStone pack retails at €85 and comes with a piece of sandpaper so the user can prepare the surface before sticking it on. Visitors can then scan the EmpathyStone with their phones to access all kinds of information about the person buried there.