What happens to someone's social media presence after they die is a question that the world has been grappling with for a number of years now. Platforms like Facebook give users the option to designate "legacy contacts" so their loved ones can close their accounts after they're gone. But, according to some in the funeral business, we won't need to delete profiles in the future...because coffins will link the deceased with the outside world. Sort of.
UK-based funeral plan provider Perfect Choice has created digital mockups to illustrate their prediction that the industry will soon see a trend towards "smart" caskets honoring the dead in the most 21st-century way imaginable. The concept features color-changing LEDs and an LCD screen on the lid to display tributes from social media for funeral-goers to read. The concept also features external speakers that can be used to "project a eulogy or play music." Past concept coffins have included internal speakers and a monitor on the headstone so that visitors to the grave can play music from the dead person's Spotify, a feature that the Perfect Choice design lacks.
"We recently carried out some research into the rise in the use of technology at UK funerals and thought it would be interesting to see how different elements could be incorporated to modernize funerals," Emma Simpson of Perfect Choice told the Daily Mail. "We were surprised by the amount of people posting photos of their funeral attendance on Facebook. Social media has become such a big part of people’s lives … we wanted to combine funerals, technology and social media to produce a proto-type coffin and this is what we came up with."
Perfect Choice admits that the trend may be "a long way off or it may never happen." Which means for now, you'll have to pay your respects the old-fashioned way—by sending a status update into the ether.