Indiana monument company takes headstones into digital age


by CNN

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. (CNN) -- You might think gravestones would be stuck in the "stone age" and tough to turn high-tech, but one monument company in Indiana is taking headstones into the digital age.

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," Allen said.

Allen said his company is the only one in the state authorized to install these new QR codes on headstones.

"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," he said.

A tiny QR code can connect you 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 smart phone.

"The obituary's on here, images are on here," Allen said.

While the technology is still very new, Allen said he's seen a lot of interest from customers.

"We're selling probably a few a day," he said.

One of those customers Mary Warbritton, whose son Jeremy Gibson was killed last summer in Lafayette, 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.

She said her hope is his friends will use the technology to share photos of her grandchildren that she might not have otherwise.

Allen said the Q-R code technology is a one-time fee that's included in the cost of the headstone.
It can range from 99 to 400 dollars, and once you've paid for the code, your memorial web site will always be online, and you can make changes to it whenever you'd like.