Funeral directors from Poole, Dorset are using QR (quick response) codes to make headstones interactive.The technology has been applied to memorials and tribute plaques as well, The Guardian reports. The codes are engraved in granite or metal, and embedded or attached to the gravestones.
Funeral home owners believe a name, a date of birth and the date of their death is not enough to describe a person. QR codes make it possible for the family of the deceased to remember their life by reading about them or browsing pictures.
Access to the website that collects this information is granted to family and close friends, and they can add to the departed's bio. The extra service costs £300 ($478 / €376), but it will make your loved one live on.
53-year-old Gill Tuttiett was one of the first customers to use this service. After her husband Timothy died, she chose this as a way to remember him better.
"Tim was quite outward-going and game for anything. […] I think this is the way forward and Tim would have wanted that, and it's making a process that's hard possibly easier," she said.
This is not the only advance that has been made in an effort to make tombstones interactive.
According to Gizmodo, Dutch inventor Henk Rozema manufactured a gravestone equipped with an LCD display. The tombstone displays pictures and can play video or audio footage. Infrared sensors allow these functions to turn on automatically when someone approaches.
Vidstone, a Florida-based company founded by Sergio Aguirre, also carries the LCD tombstone. Aguirre's version runs on solar energy. eHow reports that his cleverly named “Serenity Panel” is waterproof and can play 6 hours of video once charged. Apparently, Vidstone even installs its panel on pet gravestones.
Whatever the cost, interactive devices seem to be a useful addition to the list of standard funeral arrangements one can make.