How Video & Immersive Content Will Change Funeral Service

Posted May 31, 2016

5 min read

Virtual reality (VR) is a multi-media experience in the digital world that replicates any given environment in the physical, real world. VR also refers to any kind of sensory experience that has been artificially created in order to make that immersive experience seem even more real.

More and more brands and apps are exploring the use of immersive technology for their users. Much has been reported on how both Facebook and Microsoft have made heavy investments in VR and in VR technologies. Brands, movie studios and gaming companies have also put a focus on
 VR content. Last year also marked the year in which Google made a push to try to get VR into classrooms, among other places. The goal behind the push was the idea that VR in education could allow students to go on virtual field trips.

Changing the Consumer Experience

With many VR experiences, people leave feeling as if the display took them over. That’s because, for one, VR is fully immersive
 and memorable—in part, because it is new to us all right now. But second, it can create what is best described as a fantasy world for those that are a part of any experience or story.

VR In Funeral Service?

Are stone and metal markers a thing of the past? Will people
 start to catalog their stories earlier in life to share with those they leave behind, including family members that haven’t even met yet because they’ll be born in the future?
These questions show just how much VR could change the delivery of funeral services.

In Advance of VR: More Powerful Videos & Enhanced Obituaries

While VR is not widely adopted yet, personalized videos – which are already increasing in popularity - show how high quality content can enhance a families’ experience. Curtis Funk, CEO of Tukios Inc. says that the number of people who will be taking advantage of videos at funerals is on the rise. Tukios is an automated tribute video software company used by thousands of funeral professionals, providing beautiful memorials effortlessly to grieving families.

“In the United States, with 2.5 million deaths per year, market research says about 40 percent of families will buy a video from the funeral home, or approximately 1 million videos a year. And from what we can tell, that is accurate,” explains Tukios.

But that also shows room for growth in this service offering, he says. “Even the 60 percent of families that are not buying [videos], most of those are still having a video in the service.” Funk explains that many families still create a video or slideshow on their own, but funeral homes have a huge opportunity to offer this service to families instead.

When it comes to offering tribute videos or streaming videos to families, funeral homes need to focus on making it easy for families, including the use of software that can provide a comprehensive set of tools so families can easily upload video footage or photos of their loved one. “Families are going to have videos [now and in the future], and even if they’re not buying from the funeral home, they’re going to bring one anyway so [funeral directors will benefit] if they are able to present tribute videos as a part of their package or services,” says Funk.

As for streaming video, Funk expects this to increase in the future, too. He says every video on the web that Tukios posts has a link, and about 45 percent of those links are being embedded into the obituary today. “And that’s what we want, and we encourage that,” explains Funk. Right now he sees more than 100 video views, on average, per funeral service video, but that number may increase over time. Those video views benefit families, but they can also benefit the funeral home, which may see an uptick in traffic or brand visibility as a byproduct of that link being shared.

Video VS. VR: Creating an Unforgettable Memorial

Are we moving towards a more experience-driven or participatory memorial experience? The answer appears to be yes. While videos of services are already readily available, VR would add another level of sophistication to this experience. While video shows people’s acceptance of an evolved experience or addition to the experience, VR would be carving out a whole new way to story-tell and to remember loved ones.

The possibilities with VR as a part of our funeral services are limitless. If anything could fully change the funeral experience, it could be VR, with its ability to create a fully immersive, sensory and unforgettable experience.

Staying abreast of emerging trends is an important part of running a successful business that can evolve. Drawing insights on emerging trends, such as those included in CRäKN’s latest Consumer Tech Trends Report, can influence how to train staff, how to hire, and where you’ll invest resources in growing your firm.

Download the free Consumer Tech Trends Report today to get more knowledge about the top 5 consumer trends to discover how they’re shaping the future of funeral service.

Categories: Industry

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