Interactive gravestones link to online tales

Last updated 10:02 07/09/2012
Quick Response Gravestones
DEAD LINK: A British funeral director has come up with the idea of adding Quick Response codes to gravestones, linking to online stories of a person's life.

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Traditional gravestones are getting a technological revamp as some are being inscribed with an interactive code that can take you to a web page with a quick Smartphone scan.

People are opting to get Quick Response (QR) codes on gravestones, allowing them to remember their loved ones in a revolutionary way.

All they have to do is scan the code with their Smartphone and it will take them to a web page which could feature online biographies, memorials, pictures or videos.

Though Funeral Directors Association president Eion McKinnon said he hadn't heard of QR codes being used in New Zealand, The Guardian reported people were getting the interactive tombstones in Britain.

The funeral directors of Chester Pearce of Poole, Dorset, which is using the technology, told the newspaper the QR codes enabled visitors to learn all about the person buried, rather than being limited to a few details.

"People often wander around cemeteries and look at gravestones and wonder who that person was. By using the QR codes they can find out all they need to know," managing director Stephen Nimmo said.

Gill Tuttiett, 53, whose husband Timothy, 55, died from heart failure in November, was one of the first customers to use the technology at Poole.

"Tim was quite outward-going and game for anything," she told The Guardian.

"I think this is the way forward and Tim would have wanted that, and it's making a process that's hard possibly easier."

The codes are etched on to a small granite or metal square before being embedded or glued on to a gravestone.

McKinnon said that as far as he knew QR codes were not being used in New Zealand, but he had heard about it.

"I was at a presentation last year with the Australasian Cemeteries and Crematoria Association and they had a presentation from people who were doing that.

"I know that it will be something that will be in use in the foreseeable future," he said.

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