Interactive gravestones: how the dead live on, online
Traditional graveyards are being transformed by technology. Photograph: Alamy
Traditional graveyards are being transformed through technology with interactive headstones providing a revolutionary way for people to remember loved ones.
Quick Response (QR) codes on gravestones can be scanned by smartphones to open up online biographies of the dead person.
The related webpage can show profiles of the person, pictures, videos and tributes from family and friends.
The funeral directors Chester Pearce of Poole, Dorset, which is using the technology, said the QR barcodes enabled visitors to learn all about the person buried, rather than being limited to a name, age and date of birth and death.
Those given access to the website can also add tributes of their own.
The QR codes can also be put on memorials and tribute plaques on benches, said Chester Pearce's managing director, Stephen Nimmo.
The £300 codes are etched on to a small granite or metal square before being embedded or glued on to a gravestone.
One of the first customers in Poole to use the technology is Gill Tuttiett, 53, whose husband, Timothy, died from heart failure in November, aged 55.
"Tim was quite outward-going and game for anything," she said. "I think this is the way forward and Tim would have wanted that, and it's making a process that's hard possibly easier." It would also be useful for someone trying to create family trees in the future, she said.
Nimmo said that he got the idea after visiting the Kremlin Wall necropolis in Moscow and realising he knew so much about the people buried there.
"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".