There are very few places left that haven’t been touched by social media or technology — the funeral industry, being one. But even this market may not be left untapped for long, with experts predicting a broad range of high-tech upgrades in casket gadgets headed our way.
According to Perfect Choice Funerals, part of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) in the U.K., smart caskets will be the newest gadgets we add to our lists of must-haves. The company’s predictions for caskets include panels that change color and speakers inside the coffin for amplification of the eulogy, a song, or a poem. You may even be able to stream your Spotify playlist. Additionally, the coffins will include a screen on the top to allow streaming of social media tributes, allowing funeral attendees the convenience of viewing condolences as they are tweeted and Facebooked to the deceased.
In addition to its predictions for the caskets of the future, Perfect Choice Funerals is a leader in providing innovative funeral plans. Green burials and eco-friendly funerals that include the use of materials such as biodegradable bamboo or cardboard are part of the newest in funeral burial offerings. This company, in particular, offers a variety of options in personalization of burial gear that aren’t provided by your typical funeral homes.
Perfect Choice, however, isn’t the first to attempt to bridge technology with funeral arrangements. Last year, Cremation Solutions offered its new line of 3D-printed urns, which created and formed into the shape and likeness of the deceased person’s head — or anyone else’s head in which you’d like to store ashes. Creation of the urns only require a photograph, and with the technology of facial recognition software, result in a lifelike model of the person’s head intended to make sure you never forget what your loved one liked like.
Although there is currently no estimate on the cost of a casket that includes what seems to be a large iPhone screen on top, the new social caskets likely won’t be cheap. In 2014, the national median cost of a funeral was over $7,000 according to the National Funeral Directors Association, and probably won’t become any less expensive in the future.