Now, a funeral home in Britain is attaching tiny digital codes to headstones, giving visitors the chance to see, hear, even experience the lives of the dead. No longer are graveyard visitors limited to letters and numbers etched into tombstones.
The markers, known as Quick Response or QR codes, look like a combination of abarcode and Rorschach blot and are attached to the back corner of the stone. A smartphone with a QR reader can scan the code, launching websites or multimedia collections created by the family, providing an interactive life story to anyone standing over the grave.
这个数字条码叫做二维码，看起来就像是条形码和罗夏墨迹的结合，被设置在碑石的角落里。装有QR读取器的智能手机都可以扫描到，站在墓碑前的人就可以看到由逝者的亲人提供的网页或多媒体资料，互动分享人生故事。（Rorschach blot 罗夏墨迹测验，通过让受试者解释墨水点绘的图形来分析判断其性格。）
"It is about keeping the memory of someone alive," Stephen Nimmo, managing director of the funeral home Chester Pearce Associates, told ABC News." This man or woman really did something -- these are the people they knew, these are their family, this is where they went. You can learn a lot more about people than what you see on the stone."
QR codes have been used in advertisements for years, and a handful of American funeral homes began attaching them to gravestones in early 2011. This appears to be the first time they have been placed on gravestones in the United Kingdom.
Gill Tuttiett, 53, lost her husband Tim to heart failure in November, and was Nimmo's first customer.
"Tim was quite outward-going and game for anything," Tuttiett told the British media. "I think this is the way forward and Tim would have wanted that, and it's making a process that's hard possibly easier."
Nimmo launched the service, which costs about $600, two weeks ago. He said he has signed up 10 customers and hasn't encountered much resistance or anyone objecting to technology impinging on tradition. He also offers versions that can attach to benches, trees -- anywhere a family has chosen to mark their loved ones.