Practice English everyday with VOA Special English

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 | Latest audio lessons → VOA Learning English

QR Codes Create Interactive Graves

Probably the last place you would look for interactive media would be a graveyard. But a company called Aspetos has come up with a way to remember lost loved ones. Its workers in Austria are placing what the company calls quick response codes onto gravestones.

This means that anyone with a smartphone can get information about the buried person by scanning a code on the gravestone. The family of the deceased has control over who can access the information. The company works with the family to decide what kind of information to provide about the deceased person.

That information might include picture galleries, streaming video, the eulogy and the obituary. Mourners can access the data with a Smartphone directly at the grave area. And that data can be saved for future generations. The company says it wants to make the technology weather and disaster-proof.

Aspetos employees say this can be difficult. They have to use special techniques to protect the quick response code. This ensures that the code which holds the data cannot be destroyed or rubbed away. Vienna's central cemetery holds the graves of Austrian composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven.

A monument honoring the Austrian composer Wolfgang Mozart is also there. There are no plans to tag these landmarks with codes. But that could happen in the future. Then the thousands of visitors who come to pay their respects to these famous men would have more ways to remember them.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Laurel Bowman.