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Coding with us from cradle to the grave

Quick Response codes are rapidly becoming a part of everyday life and death, popping up in the most unlikely of places.

QR codes, which act like supercharged barcodes storing a significant amount of information linking smartphone users to online sites, could soon be appearing in cemeteries near you.

Queensland is already capable of following US, UK and European trends where they appear on headstones linking to videos, pictures and web stories on the life of the deceased person.

Albert Deboer, of monument maker Forever Shining, said laser etching and printing meant the codes could be put on local tombstones now.

“It’s a great idea,” he said. “It is possible to do that right now.”

Whoever does go for a QR code on their local gravesite would be a trailblazer, given Toowong Cemetery does not appear to have heard of it, and neither has Brisbane City Cemetery.

Not so though other types of operators, with a gym chain in Brisbane yesterday kicking off QR codes that give members instant online exercise tuition, while the Queensland Art Gallery was an early adopter of QR codes next to major art pieces.

“This is one of the first moves of its kind in the Australian fitness industry and fits in perfectly with the 24-7 gym model,” Stepz Fitness managing director Quang Tran said.

“When a staff member isn’t around, or even for the gym-goer who may be too embarrassed to ask for help, the QR code will take them directly to an online video.”

Snap South Brisbane marketing guru Jeff Polley, whose company produces QR code-laden business cards, stationery and other items, said there was much more to come.

“It’s very much under-utilised at the moment,” he said.

With research company Telsyte predicting 12.2 million smartphone users in Australia this year, QR codes could soon be on every type of surface imaginable.

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