It's getting to that crazy point where it feels like everything, everywhere has had a QR code smacked on it at some point. For those of you in the dark, QR (or, "quick response") codes are scannable stamps that allow smartphone users to access info about a product, event, band—heck, even a Mercury article.

But just when you think that the QR market has reached its limit, it pulls a "I'm technology and I can do anything" move and hops into the one place you thought you'd never see it: A cemetery. Yep, QR codes are appearing on gravestones now. The codes can link to a short biography on the deceased person, written by their loved ones, and can be read by anyone with the required smartphone app. It's both horrifying and brilliant.

  • Quiring Monuments

Rumor had it that Portland's cemeteries hoped to introduce the QR-coded gravestone as early as next year—but Rachel Fox, Metro's Cemetery Program Manager, says our cemeteries will be QR-code-free for now. Fox says a company specializing in QR-ing gravestones (possibly Seattle's Quiring Monuments) has called her almost every day for the last few months, urging her to sign Portland's cemeteries up. "It's interesting, but we're not ready for that," says Fox. "The whole idea that the families are supposed to write these bios worries me. How am I to know who I should chose to write it, or if the families get along? It's complicated."

She adds: "It could open up a can of worms. That's somebody's grandma, not a website."