Throughout history, philosphy and religion have come up with their own answers to the ultimate question: Is there life after death? Luckily for us, a Beijing funeral home not only has the answer, but they're allowing everyone to witness it using the latest cutting edge technology.
Through a VR headset, users were provided a first-hand glimpse of their own death beginning with a workplace seizure, then hospitalization, and finally death before being taken to the afterlife, reported Beijing News.
What's heaven like? Well, speaking in terms of video games, there's one map populated only by player one because there's no online multiplayer.
"First, there's a pavilion, then there's a pagoda, and then there's the afterlife terrace from which you can see your home back in the mortal world," said one man who went to hell and back. "From there, you can recollect back upon your days you lived with your family."
Before climbing the stairway to heaven, the VR demo educates users on the various procedures a deceased person will undergo at the funeral home, including cosmetic preparation, cremation, and the funeral itself.
As Beijing's most prestigious funeral home where many of the city's most important people are interred and buried, Badaoshan Funeral Home has adopted a number of new technologies such as 3D printing for facial reconstruction as well autonomous robots to help disinfect its facilities. But even with its prestige and high-tech advancements, funeral homes face social stigmas due to the taboo nature of death in Chinese culture.
As explained by a funeral parlor employee, the VR experience is meant to help people cherish the beauty of life. And, in a society where the number "4" has bad connotations due to its similarity to the word "death," they could use the reassurance.
Virtual reality is gaining wide acceptance in China. In addition to large consumer interest for the ascending technology, VR was just officially adopted by Beijing courts at the beginning of the month. And, as suggested by reports, virtual reality may be used by funeral homes in the future to allow bereaving families to attend funerals without ever having to leave their homes.
In the event that China never overcomes its taboo towards death, it seems like virtual reality has finally found its killer app.