The idea is being tested by cemeteries in Saskatchewan in Canada. They are trialling the use of QR codes in order to allow visitors to access and read virtual obituaries online. Remco Memorials has taken the additional step of adding the codes to the gravestones and resting places of the deceased. This allows relatives and visitors to use their smartphones to scan in the codes and to subsequently access a digital obituary.
Scan and read about the deceased
The president of Remco, Dave Reeson, suggests that this is a logical extension of the increasing trend for the personalisation of memorials. Everything from gifts, photographs, symbols and other unique items is routinely used to reflect the lives of the deceased. Mr. Reeson saw that a number of funeral homes were already hosting obituaries online. In connecting the two, his company’s move to QR codes now offers the bereaved the ability to go directly to a chosen obituary and to read an in-depth story.
The QR code service currently costs $75 and includes the affixing of the code onto the memorial. Relatives will receive a password, allowing them to access the obituary and to edit it as they wish, perhaps adding stories and images about the deceased.
Feedback so far?
Clearly Mr Reeson is excited about the move to digital memorials and has already observed a positive response to the project. It will be interesting to see how other memorial businesses adapt and react to this latest development in an industry that has not traditionally been regarded as being particularly technology literate. Consumer reaction will be fascinating. For some it may seem odd or even unwelcome. For others, such schemes may simply seem to be a natural progression from reading obituaries published in the traditional manner. Certainly, it offers the potential to learn about the departed and to remember them in ever more information-rich ways.
It also suggests wider applications in education, particularly with the resting places of the famous wherein visitors could potentially benefit from the same technology. The possibilities are limited only by creativity, combining the requisite smartphone and mobile technology in new ways.
The ubiquitous smartphone
It seems that the smartphone is now ubiquitous, as a result of which mobile broadband is becoming more important than ever. For those seeking to go digital, there are a wide range of mobile broadband deals around. Competing providers have designed flexible packages to accommodate specific requirements.
If you’re new to the technology, why not speak to your provider or use one of the many online tutorials to improve your understanding. Whether you’re looking to find out more about QR codes or apps, there are a range of informative websites. Whilst some may regard today’s mobile technology as intrusive, there is little doubt that it will continue to change the way in which we manage even the most basic of tasks, perhaps even including the grieving process.