Augmented reality (AR) has already seen some innovative users, in fields from marketing to education to construction. A Japanese company is taking AR is a slightly unusual direction by using the technology to set up virtual ‘grave sites’ for deceased loved ones.
The service is provided by Japanese tombstone engravers Royshin Sekizai, and is available to be set up anywhere in the world, so friends and family members who can’t visit the real grave site have a place they can mourn and remember. The technology means the service can be attached to places that were special to the deceased, such as a favourite spot in the park.
Specific videos or pictures can be set up to display at the designated location, as well as text messages. If the service is set up prior to someone’s death, they can store messages and videos at a location of their own choosing.
The service costs 500 yen per month, but offer the first year for free to families. Since the service is based in Japan where cremation is how most of the dead are interred, the company will also hold the deceased ashes for up to 15 years, or for as long as the monthly fee is still paid.
Japan has long been a country that is quick to embrace new forms of technology, and AR has sprung up in various places across the country already for navigation and education and keeping you company during meals.
It remains to be seen if this unusual AR usage will take off. VRFocus will continue to report on it and other applications of AR.