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Chinese Funeral Parlor Gives Death Tours in VR

Visitors could virtually participate in a death experience.

The largest funeral home in Beijing China, Babaoshan, opened up their doors to the public last week for a day of tours, showing off everything that’s included when you have to say your last goodbyes. Built in 1958, the funeral home gave on-site visitors a look at the funeral hall, the farewell hall, the guard room, the body cosmetic room, the shower room, and the cremation room.

Aside from highlighting all the facility’s features, the funeral home decided to go a step further this year—letting you experience the entire process of dying in virtual reality.

In an attempt to dispel the mystery surrounding funeral services, Babaoshan funeral home created two VR experiences, one of which lets you experience the story of having a seizure at work, a failed paramedic rescue, your heart stopping, and a final farewell to relatives from the afterlife.

The second VR experience lets you go on a five minute tour of the funeral home, taking you through corpse delivery, storage, mortuary preparations, the memorial service, and cremation — a tour that would take an hour in real life.

While experiencing the day when you finally kick the bucket is probably the more bizarre uses of VR we’ve seen in awhile, the funeral home believes the virtual tours help family members save time during a time when they would rather be mourning.

The funeral facility is no stranger to technology. Last year, Babaoshan launched a 3-D printing studio to assist with repairing the faces of those disfigured in death for open-casket funerals. The staff also developed a robot called Kino that helps disinfect every surface during mortuary preparations.

VR is no stranger to near-death experiences or even horror experiences that place you in an actual coffin. Last year we saw a Japanese AR app that let you see holograms of your deceased loved ones at their grave.

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of VRScout.

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