CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. (WLFI) - Randy Allen says 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 is the only monument company in the state authorized to install these new QR codes on headstones, working with technology patented by "Making Everlasting Memories " that 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," he said.
Allen said the 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.
And 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 told NewsChannel 18 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.
"The younger generation, they're going to probably want to go to the cemetery more, and visit the families that have these," Allen said.
Allen said the QR code technology is a one-time fee that's included in the cost of the headstone and 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.
The QR codes can be ordered for a new headstone, or added to any headstone that already exists.
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