Cemeteries go high-tech as tombstones are brought online


Cemeteries are also going high-tech.

Officials in Alaska have approved a plan to add QR codes to monuments so that visitors to grave sites can access privately-hosted websites that tell a short life story about the deceased.

Believed to be the first public agreement of it's kind, the city of Anchorage approved the scarcely used mobile scannable codes for use on a columbarium wall in a public cemetery.

The small barcode-like icons can be read by most mobile devices and allow families to tell more about relatives that go far beyond what a regular tombstone or grave marker can tell, according to Quiring Monuments vice president John Reece.

"By offering this to families... they can tell a story about a loved one instead of just a date and a name,' he explained to AOL.

The product was first introduced about three years ago and has seen some adoption, but those numbers only represent a sliver of the company's overall sales, he added.

QR codes can be added to existing grave markers or new ones because they are attached by sticking a laminate on the stone, according to Reece.

Anchorage has adopted them for a wall with the nameplates of those interred in urns on the site, according to the Washington Post.

"If we give people the opportunity to memorialize in a way that they're comfortable with, then they'll be down the road to healthy grieving, and that's the whole point, Rob Jones, the director of Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery, told the Post.

The markers currently only display the person's name, birth year and when they died.

It costs only $150 for families to add the unique feature, and links to photos, videos and other information about their loved one, according to Reece.

Just about any modern cell phone can download a QR code reader, and now every single tombstone in the world can go online.

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