The UK keeps it gadgety even when dead

tech funeralIt is time to update those “Which songs would you have played at your funeral?” lists and add some tech because, according to the latest research, 1 in 3 UK funerals now includes a gadgety aspect.

Personally I’d like to put the ‘fun’ in to my funeral – perhaps a bouncy castle graveyard, or some ‘you’re dead funny’ helium balloons.

It seems that tech is making an ever increasing feature in funeral services these days with the majority seemingly featuring ‘video calls’ for those unable to attend the funeral and it seems that the people polled felt this is only the tip of the death day gadgets.

Now, I am aware of QR Codes embedded in to headstones and even coffins that feature mobile phones for those calls from the other side.

The study, conducted by, polled 2,145 British adults, all of whom were aged 18 or over, with an even gender split. In order to be eligible for the survey, all participants were required to have attended a funeral within the last 18 months – I am a bit concerned that this may have incited some uninvited appearances 😉

Initially, all participants were asked ‘Have you been to a funeral in which technology played a role within the last 18 months?’ They were asked not to include music played through a CD or MP3 player when considering their answer. 1 in 3 (32%) of respondents revealed that they had been to a funeral in the past 18 months where technology was used in some way.

The survey then asked these respondents to reveal what the technology was. Respondents were able to select all answers that were applicable, which revealed the below top 5:

  1. Video call – 21%
  2. Memorial videos –  19%
  3. Digital order of service – 15%
  4. Music streamed – 13%
  5. Photobooth – 4%

A photobooth? Really? I know that weddings and funerals are probably those times when you get to see great aunt Ethel who now lives miles away but, really? I am guessing that the photobooths are there for the attendees and not to get that last snap with the dearly departed!

All relevant respondents were asked to reveal what effect the technology used had on the service.

The majority of respondents (67%) said that it had a positive effect, with almost half of these (49%) saying that it had a positive effect because it brought distant friends and family together and involved them in the service.

Those who experienced the use of ‘video calls’ during a funeral were asked to reveal why this had been done. A majority of 65% of respondents said that it had been done so that those living abroad or far away could share the day to remember their loved one.

All respondents were asked to reveal whether they felt comfortable with the use of technology in funerals, to which a majority of 59% revealed that they did not. 76% of these felt it was ‘too disruptive’.

Finally, the survey asked all respondents whether they thought the role of technology in funerals would increase in years to come. A majority of 57% revealed that they thought that it would. When asked how they thought this would be so, 21% said that they believed holograms of the deceased would be used in funerals in the future.

Emma Simpson of made the following comments:

With digital developments comes a rise in the involvement of technology in funerals. Britons may feel uncomfortable with this, but it certainly adds a whole new element to someone’s final farewell.”

She continued:

A funeral is a tough time for everyone involved, so it’s nice for those living abroad or far away to share in the event in some form, even if it is via a video link. As for holograms at funerals, we think that’s a few decades away yet!”

Have you got your last event planned? What tech would you request?