When Yoav Medan’s mother Judith passed away in June, the Israel-based medical technology executive couldn’t decide what he wanted to write on her tombstone. After deliberating with his family, Medan decided to turn to technology for the answer and attach a QR code to the grave in Haifa, Israel.
Scanning the QR code leads visitors to a tribute website that Medan has setup and plans to evolve with stories and photos from his mother’s life. “I [didn’t] know what we wanted to write [on the tombstone] and it will never be everything for everyone. By having something that is dynamic and can extend over time, we can capture it,” he told me this week in an interview at TED Global in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Over time, Medan hopes the QR code and memorial site will help create a lasting history of his mother that will live on for generations. “I was most concerned about 20 or 40 years from now, how will she be remembered … [I wanted to put] what’s in our memory into a place that doesn’t forget,” he said.
The QR code itself is a laser engraving, filled with a black paste, and sits behind a piece of glass on the tombstone. “The guy who built the tombstone, he wants to make a business out of it,” said Medan.
He think the idea could catch on based on the feedback he’s been hearing. “People identify with this way of keeping the memory of someone and actually making it dynamic and evolving with time as you remember more,” he said. The QR code-enabled tombstone adds a new twist to the growing number of services we’ve seen emerge that are designed to help us decide what happens to our online identity after we die and create digital tributes to our lost loved ones.