The next time you stop by the cemetery, you may learn a lot more about your dearly departed than a few ceremonial words.

A few companies are now marketing quick response (QR) codes for gravestones, which allow visitors to connect their smartphones to a website containing information on a deceased person, including photos, videos and testimonials from family and friends.

UK-based Chester Pearce Associates manager Stephen Nimmo said: “When you lose somebody… talking about them is very important, keeping their memory going is very important and this is just an add-on to that.”

QR codes have become commonplace on advertising campaigns, allowing a smartphone owner to scan the barcode on an ad to obtain more data about the product or campaign online.

Customers can also get their own QR code gravestones. US-based Quiring Monuments has a video for the firm’s version of the product. Of course, making data public after a person’s death raises issues of privacy and taste.

“It’s a new technology… there will be people who like it [and] people who don’t,” Nimmo said.

Chester Pearce charges customers $500 (R4 090) for the QR code service, which can be placed on memorial benches or plaques in addition to the grave sites.

Gill Tuttiet purchased one of the QR codes for her late husband, Timothy, and says he would have appreciated the forward-thinking gesture. – Reuters