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The QR Code to Monuments

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A manufacturer offers QR codes on tombstones. Are these a natural fit for monument signs as well?

Although I can appreciate the concept of QR codes, I can’t say I’ve yet to fully appreciate the results generated with them through my “smart”-phone. (Is it possible I’m the chump that instead managed to acquire a “dumb”-phone instead?)

If you’re not familiar with QR codes, they’re those small Rorschach-type layouts you’re now seeing embedded in print ads seemingly everywhere. If you scan or take a photo of the code (depending on the method used), you’ll be directed to a Web site filled with additional information about the product being advertised.

When I’ve gotten it to work, I have to admit the result is an exciting interactive addition to a marketing campaign. But when you don’t have the steadiest of hands (as I seem to be encountering with each passing day), trying to get those inkblot boxes to line up in the small box on my QR reader can be a bit of a trying task. And for those that require texting images, sometimes I have to snap multiple attempts to arrive at a photo that isn’t too blurry.

One day I’ll get the hang of it, but while reading USA Today this morning, I came across this story about a tombstone maker who was now adding QR codes that would direct interested parties to a Web site with a “life scrapbook” (I guess would be the right example of thinking) shedding light to visitors on the deceased’s life.

Okay, I’m not really certain I’m going to spend my time in a cemetery all day taking snapshots of these QR codes to find out more about the deceased’s life, but I can see this being somewhat cathartic for family members. Then again, who’s going to upkeep this Web site hundreds of years from now when the Planet of the Apes™ are browsing through the cemeteries, commenting on those “damn dirty humans?”

But with someone already starting to add QR codes to these tombstones—which still feels a bit weird, no matter how many times I type it—I wonder if this concept can also take off within the monument sign community. We’re already being told how LED message centers, dimensional props, cut-out letters, and other add-ons can spruce up a monument’s appearance. And I’m sure this would be another avenue for companies to market themselves to potential customers—and one that’s resting just outside their doors.

So will this become another popular option for sign shops to offer in monument design? Or is this an example that might be better off dearly departed?

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