Smart caskets of the future could live-stream social media tributes

Robert Hoetink/Shutterstock
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.


The history of Battle Royale: From mod to worldwide phenomenon

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in streaming and eSports in a way that might hint at the future of the industry.

How to use Samsung’s Bixby assistant for all of your smartphone tasks

Samsung Bixby is a powerful tool, but not the most intuitive one we've encountered. Here's how to set up and use every feature of Samsung's digital assistant, as well as what to expect in the future.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.
Social Media

GIF almost anywhere with Giphy’s new keyboard and sticker maker

We all love GIFs, but not every app supports them. Fortunately, the new Giphy' keyboard brings GIFs to any iOS app that supports multimedia. The update also comes with a new tool for creating animated stickers.