Electronic Mourning Technology Is unquestionably not a new concept In this modern day society. Almost every business that a customer walks into is run by technology in some way. A business that most do not relate to technology though, is the funeral home industry. Of course people don’t enjoy visiting funeral homes and facing the death of a loved one and the potential high costs that can go with laying them to rest.
Funerals are no longer traditional and standard, thanks to technology now funeral services can be allured to fit the individual and make it so much more personal, then ever before. The new age of technology in funeral homes could potentially ease the mourning process for families and Increase the work flow for funeral directors. Death can be a very hard and stressful time on families, but technology may be able to help relieve the stress Just a little bit. It would be Impossible to talk about all of the advancements and new technology that has evolved.
One of the more popular technologies that’s beginning to catch on Is the live streaming of funerals over the Internet. This can be ere beneficial for family members who want to say goodbye, but cannot attend because of travel cost, illness or other issues. With just a small camera and internet connection funeral directors can record the entire services and stream it live over the internet. After the service if the families would like a copy of the service, the funeral director can then burn the stream to a DVD. It’s truly a way through a virtual manner that you can have a much larger support group at the time of death than you could before,” explained funeral director Gregory Lobular. Another aspect that has come very popular and also involves DVD’S, is a picture slideshows dedicated to celebrating the life of a lost loved one. Many services that family and friends walk Into now can see either a projector screen or TV playing a slide slow of pictures and videos customized too person’s life.
Theses DVD slideshows are now one of the most requested items.. Even more then flowers. The family does not have to worry about poking holes in their precious family photos to display and can now even have a more permanent copy of them. Now directors can just scan or upload them into a imputer, and families can have the pictures without having to worry about them. From the service to headstones a family can personalize almost the whole funeral and even make a lasting impression after they’re buried, and this all due to technology.
One aspect of technology that is slowly making its way to the US and into the industry is the placement of CRY codes onto headstones, those little black and white squares people see everywhere are soon going to be found more frequently In cemeteries. In the article Digital CRY Codes Offer Interactive Cemetery Experience Nick Chiffon described It as “Giving visitors the chance to see, hear, and even experience the lives of the dead. No longer are graveyard visitors Limited to letters and numbers etched into tombstones” (Pearce).
Anybody walking through a cemetery can simply whatever content the deceased individual wanted such as text, pictures, maps and even audio playback so his/her voice can be heard for decades and families can always remember their loved one in such a more personal way when going to visit. Technology has opened up so many doors and possibilities for people to mourn in ouch a new and different way, and to even relieve the stress and anxiety from losing someone close. So how is technology helping improve the work flow of many funeral homes?
So many funeral homes are struggling with the fine line between traditional funerals and the addition of modern day technology. Gantry Shape a funeral director from Michigan said perfectly “Twenty years from now I think it well be tradition. But it’s not everybody’s cup of tea at this point in time. There are still a lot of people who enjoy the traditional funeral with no technology at all. ” (Hayes) Slowly technology is asking its way in and is helping to ease the Jobs of funeral directors. Imagine at one time having to sit at a typewriter for hours typing up paper work and memorial folders for a funeral.
Now all the paper work can be simplified by the forms and templates available on a computer. One hundred memorial folders can be done in just a minute with a simple click of a mouse the article Funeral Homes Using Software by Andy Lingual discusses about data digger, one of the first major programs, available to the funeral home industry. Of course this article is very out of date, but it wows Just how much things have advanced. “The results a package that types forms simplifies billings, manger the funeral ledger”. Lingual) Now computers and their programs are much more advanced then in the beginning of the ass’s, and paper work is not the only benefit for funeral directors. Stacy Stocking manager and funeral director of Stocking Funeral Home stated. “Technology has allowed us to save money on both gas and man power, although there are flaws it has been very beneficial to the business” along with the saved money a fairly new technology is saving money ND paper, with the rise of tablets, all of the price guides and merchandise catalogs can be uploaded onto an ‘pad everything is now at your fingertips instead of searching a pile of catalogs. It was truly amazing. I was able to allow the family to make their own decisions on the screen, letting them feel like they were in control. The Kiosk guided the family through the entire decision process and I was able to consult them along the way,” said Scott Erickson from Foster Funeral Home (Young). There is so much more to funeral homes than ever before, and there are so much more things that could be beneficial. It has definitely become evident Just how much technology has advanced and became very beneficial to funeral directors.
Of course like everything else even the best things have to come with a few downsides. Everyone knows technology has it downsides and moments of failure, usually at the worst time possible. One of the worst downsides to integrating all of this technology into funeral homes is the possibility for it to fail; because once one thing fails the whole production is down. Many people now rely on the use of desk top and lap top computers, so it can be a struggle if they crash or fail. Usually resulting in someone coming to fix the technology and which ends in costly repairs! The rate of failure has improved but not nearly enough, annual failure rates of notebooks still ranged from 15 percent for machines bought today to a projected 20 percent in three years” (Gonzales). One of the bigger complaints from traditional funeral directors is getting to know the families that they are serving (Stocking)”. So it begs the question is really a good thing that the funeral home industry has Jumped on the technology band wagon? Some feel that there should be a more happy medium with technology, to letting it completely take over and only utilizing it for basic needs, such as financial and paper work.
Only time will tell if technology is really necessary in funeral homes. Technology has so many benefits for both the funeral home industry and the families that they serve. From making the paper work and running the business easier to live casting a funeral so distant family members can watch, the funeral home of yesterday have definitely taking a leap and the it’s growing. Every day there will be something new and better, but of course technology always has mom flaws and can make people dependent on it so it’s not good I something goes wrong.
The new age of mourning is here and not everyone is ready for it, but slowly as the new generation takes over the benefits well probably outweigh the cons. So next time you have to attend a funeral or too a cemetery take a look around and see the advancements you are surrounded by.