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The online funeral

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Consumer technology is usually associated with living people. However, one intrepid UK crematorium now allows people to say goodbye to their beloved through a webcam and the internet.

From today, Southampton Crematorium will offer a pay-per-view service that gives mourners online access to a broadcast of someone’s last moments. The service is designed to give anyone who can’t pay their respects in person the opportunity to take part through the internet.

A webcam has been “discreetly” positioned at the back of the crematorium’s eastern chapel. The camera captures the events and relays them over the web – albeit with a 20 second delay.

If you really want to remember the moment, then the crematorium will record the funeral onto DVD for £50. If you’re a bit strapped for cash though, then a £25 sound recording of the event should give you a general idea of what went on.

The service has already been tested by a man based in Australia. After the death of his wife, John Childs was forced to return to Australia because of work commitments, but he told one online source that he had “nothing but praise” for the service.

Southampton Crematorium’s web-based funeral service launches today and costs £75 (€100/$175).

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