CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. - You might think gravestones would be stuck in the "stone age" and tough to turn high-tech, but one monument company in Indiana says that's wrong.
Cellphones can now link loved ones to living memorials.
Randy Allen said in the 17 years that he's owned the Allen Monument Company in Crawfordsville, the business of memorializing loved ones hasn't changed much -- until now.
"We're now using the QR codes, and it's a way for the family to share their loved ones stories," said Allen.
Allen said he's the only monument company in the state of Indiana authorized to install these new QR codes on headstones, working with technology patented by making everlasting memories -- and it makes the memorial almost like a form of social media.
"Other people can text messages to the family. They can also share other stories that they'd like to share as well. It's all up to the family," said Allen.
Allen said code can connect a person to an entire memorial site about a loved one, including photos, biography and other information. He said it's as simple as scanning it with your smartphone.
"The obituary's on here, images are on here," said Allen.
Allen said while the technology is still very new, he's seen a lot of interest from customers.
"We're selling probably a few a day," he said.
One of those customers is Mary Warbritton, whose son Jeremy Gibson was killed last summer in Lafayette at the age of 26. She didn't want to do an interview, but said she wanted a QR code installed on Jeremy's headstone, because the family doesn't have a lot of photos of Jeremy and his two sons. Her hope is that his friends will use the technology to share photos of her grandchildren that she might not have otherwise. Warbritton said she's happy she chose to use the technology, which Allen said he hopes will be around for a long time.
Allen said the QR code technology is a one-time fee that's included in the cost of the headstone. It can range from $99 to $400.
He said once you've paid for the code, your memorial website will always be online, and you can make changes to it whenever you'd like.
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