The future of the deceased, QR Codes on headstones

QR Codes or Quick Response code was first designed for the automotive industry in Japan back in 1994 to track vehicles during manufacturing. Today QR Codes have become popular around the world as a quick link to web sites via your smartphone.

Advertisers, newspapers and bloggers would post and print QR Codes for people to find in order to drive traffic to their website or blog. Some people and companies have even started placing QR Codes on business cards.

Using an iPad a visitor scans the QR Code on a gravesite. ~ Photo Courtesy: Quiring Monuments

Now a new and interesting trend is starting. QR Codes on gravesites.

Quiring Monuments a Seattle-based tombstone company manufactures code-adorned “living headstones.” Using a smartphone mourners and visitors can scan the code off the headstone and get the life history of the deceased.

In Israel, Yoav Medan could not decide what to write on his mother’s tombstone do to a lack of space so he had a QR Code etched onto it.

And in Japan, Memorial stone maker Ishinokoe of Yamanashi will produce grave stones with QR Codes embedded in them. He calls the concept Kuyou no Mado, roughly meaning “Memorial Service Window.”

The future

Imagine years from now your grandchild taking their children to visit your grave. With their media device they scan the QR Code on your headstone. Your great-grandchildren have never met you but with their media device they see photos, videos and your life history, and a prerecorded message from you.

Related stories

QR Codes Everywhere Even on Grave Markers (abcnews.go.com)
QR Code on Tombstone Creates Dynamic Memorial (mashable.com)
QR code graves give a “Memorial Window” (japantrends.com)

Review: “GpsFix” by Android Labs

Google Maps, Foursquare, Gowalla, Geocaching and other GPS enabled apps require a GPS fix on your location to property provide you with the information you need. But sometimes your actual location and the one shown on your smart phone can be completely different.

GpsFix

For one reason or another your location can be skewed. This is usually cased by something interfering with the GPS signal like trees or tall buildings. Also the phones GPS/AGPS receiver is only active for a short period of time. This can cause false locations if your app did not acquire your location before the receiver deactivated.

When this happens your left with refreshing the GPS through the app your using. This option always seems to take time and it does not always work.

GpsFix is designed to sync your phone with all the satellites ahead of time.

Activate the app and click “Start Fixing.” Satellite icons will then appear indicating that the phone is locking onto different satellites in your area. GpsFix will keep the GPS/AGPS receiver on until your phones actual location is fixed.

The app works quickly, and once done back arrow out and activate the app your interested in using.

GpsFix will also give you your latitude and longitude and usually your address. The app is so good that when I tested it indoors it still found my location. Of course I was near some windows but I’ve yet to see other apps pull that off as quickly and accurately.

GpsFix is Free and is available for Android devices.

Check into Foursquare on an iPod touch

Foursquare boast itself as a smartphone social networking game. Smartphones use cell phone tower triangulation to pinpoint its exact location. Apps such as Foursquare, Gowalla and Geocaching use this information to know exactly where you are at all times. An iPod touch however is limited with its location-based abilities. It has to rely on the location of a wireless router to determine where it is in the world.

So I had a thought. How many places could I check into with Foursquare using an iPod touch as I drove around town running my errands?

Without diverting from my planed route I was able to check into Foursquare from ten different locations using my iPod touch.

Starbucks – Summerville
Verizon
Charleston County Public Library
Apple Store
Starbucks – Charleston
Earth Fare
St. Andrews Family Fitness Plus
St. Andrews Library
Barnes & Noble
Roper St. Francis Hospital

It just goes to show that you don’t need a smartphone the play and access social media sites.

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