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A brand new trend in the funeral industry is on the rise. The patents for smartphone memorials and mortuary patents are experiencing tremendous growth. Smartphone Memorials are where people access a virtual space on their handheld devices to mourn their loved one and send their condolences through a virtual mortuary setting.
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) in 2017, there were a total of twenty-four patent applications for smartphone funeral services. This year there has been a total of fourteen received since May. This new number is approximately twice the size of the average submissions between the years of 2010 and 2017. This exponential growth is accounted to the need of people being able to access a funeral regardless of time or location.
This type of service would allow a physically disabled person to easily attend the funeral of a loved one and send their condolences through their smartphone. Those of us that feel too afraid or distressed to attend a funeral would now be able to easily send out our condolences to others and still feel as if we are a part of the ceremony.
There were a total of 87 patents for funeral support. 37 of those were related to virtual memorials, and 26 were related to virtual condolence calls. The applications for those related to virtual memorial services have seen the biggest spike since 2017. This tremendous growth is only going to continue to many experts and is based on the needs of the people.
This fast growth allows us to see that there are more and more people that are looking for alternatives and solutions to the traditional funeral ceremony, and virtual funeral ceremonies just might be the answer. A virtual ceremony allows people to get together regardless of their hectic schedule, travel needs, fears, and physical disabilities. It can be difficult for many of us to physically attend a funeral, but a virtual ceremony is a whole different story.
We can attend these types of virtual ceremonies from the comfort of our own homes without heading into traffic or spending time getting dressed up, and, of course, the younger generations are already familiar with doing everything virtually. So, this would be completely normal for them. Virtual funerals may end up being the norm in the future, and it seems many people are already getting prepared for them.