With one mobile scan at a headstone, people can now watch videos, read biographies and pay tributes to their loved ones resting in graves.
The process of lowering the body into a grave is something that hasn't changed much over the centuries, but with QR-coded tombstones, the experience of commemorating the departed has certainly gone through a transition.
Turkish entrepreneur, Mehmet Cetin, has started the process in Antalya, a Turkish resort city, turning several tombs into smart graves.
One can now access the personal information of a dead person seconds after scanning the QR code on a headstone.
Cetin's company, Antalya Grave Maintenance and Tomb Construction, upgrades the graves with resumes, family trees, photos, video clips and Quranic prayers.
“I've been into grave care and tombstone construction work for 12 years. Relatives and friends of the dead people used to come to us asking to place Arabic or Turkish prayers, poetry, and titles of the deceased,” Cetin told TRT World.
“On the other hand, some would ask to place the picture of the departed soul on the headstone. This kind of extra work is generally a cost escalator. So I came up with the QR-coded graves, which is cheaper and easier to operate for both our customers and our company,” he said.
Cetin says he has two dead grandparents whom he had never met. He is now collecting their photographs and recording their life stories.
“In this way, generations after me will have a good understanding of their ancestors, their past. Memories and stories will live forever with the help of QR codes on the tombstones.”
Cetin says the technology is catching on and people are now able to decide what memories of their departed family members to show and what to remove.
“When a person dies, their pictures are usually lost or deformed. Thanks to this system, pictures, memories, stories, videos can be stored for years," Cetin said.
"Also, the relatives, friends and families of dead people can send messages to the deceased people through our upcoming mobile app. The app will also help people to locate graves. The social media accounts of these tombs can be uploaded and people can write their tributes in an e-commemorative book, which can be encrypted or unencrypted".
Cetin is optimistic about the future of his company as he is already in the process of granting franchises in Turkey and also has eyes on the international market.
"There are some people from abroad who have inquired about the app. For now, we will start sending the square-code burial system abroad. Then we will expand our company internationally as soon as possible,” he said.
What is a QR code?
The idea behind a QR code is to create an image that can be scanned by any modern day smartphone and translated into something more meaningful. QR codes are often used to contain web address information and links, but they can be used to direct smartphone users to a multitude of other media such as videos, images and so on.
Basically, a QR code works in the same way as a barcode in any supermarket. It is a machine-scannable image that can instantly be read using a smartphone camera. Every QR code consists of a number of black squares and dots which represent certain pieces of information. On reading it, a smartphone suddenly has access to a cache of information.
The technology is now changing the way humans mourn the dead.