The blogger’s choice: In this blogging series, the bloggers share what most recently caught their attention: favourites, news, products, projects, developments or trends in the product identification industry.

What I saw

Surely you’ve heard about it. The news was in many blogs and made headlines more than once this summer, even if this curious practice made its appearance for the first time discretely two years ago. I’m talking about QR codes on tombstones. Today, several manufacturers of funerary monuments include this element in the headstone, while others even offer the internet space necessary for hosting memories of the deceased (biography, photos, acoustic or audiovisual extracts, etc.) or a space for discussion where anyone can write a note or tribute.

What caught my attention

I admit that at first sight, the idea seemed a bit audacious. Purists might say it’s inappropriate. People may be offended or they may laugh, but it truly is ingenious. What better way to leave a permanent memory of a loved one. Technology is no longer at our doorstep; it’s now an integral part of our lives… and deaths!

Think of all the endless possibilities for both Mr. and Mrs. John Doe and public figures. For example, imagine visiting the grave of Elvis Presley, scanning the QR code, and being able to hear one of his songs, see a video clip of a concert or even hear his voice during an interview. And if, when visiting Picasso’s grave, you can admire his works of art or read excerpts from Edgar Allan Poe by scanning his tombstone.

What it means for the industry

For tombstone manufacturers, the procedure is already well-known and simple to realize, since it only means sticking a small porcelain or ceramic plate, on which a QR code is printed, onto the stele or monument, and this process is already done with pictures.

The QR code is one of the youngest branches of product identification. Of course some feel, and rightfully so, that the QR code will become obsolete and be replaced by a more advanced form of technology. But I don’t believe there’s reason to worry about the accessibility of information behind the code. Access to this kind of technology will be more and more common and as the applications are normally compatible with older applications, no need to stress!

If we associate barcodes with product identification, it would be a mistake to limit QR codes to commercial promotions only. All ideas are possible, no matter how strange they may seem at first!