By CHRIS AGEE
Technology has advanced at a dizzying rate over the past several years and, for many Americans, has infiltrated almost all aspects of life.
Thanks to a line of products geared toward sharing memorials of deceased loved ones, that technological connection can now extend beyond the grave.
The product line allows users to scan a QR code attached to cemetery plots to access mobile-friendly websites featuring the deceased's pictures, videos, obituaries, or any other information, and can be updated anytime. The code can also link users to any existing memorial website already established.
Though the manufacturer promises the technology will aid in the grieving process and encourages a communication among friends and family, some locals feel the product could be used nefariously.
Rhonda Martin asked, "Isn't that invasion of privacy?"
She raised the possibility of individuals scanning the code to find out more information about a recently deceased person and using the data to engage in identity theft.
"I sure don't want my relative's information retrieved in that matter," she said. "I think that's way wrong."
Mark Reynolds of White's Funeral Home said he is familiar with the product but has not had an opportunity to use it yet.
"I've heard of it but I've never seen it," he said.
No clients have yet asked for the service, Reynolds noted, adding, "we don't really sell headstones, anyway."
As for Mineral Wells as a whole, he said he is not sure if locals would embrace the new technology.
"I'm not really sure if they will yet or not," he said. "People who are passing away now are older and don't really use that kind of technology."
While some younger family members might see the benefit in a mobile connection to deceased loved ones, he said the majority of the population is probably not ready to take such a step.
"Maybe in the future," he said.
Those interested can learn more about the new product by visiting aqropolis.com.