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Population projections for Hong Kong suggest that the city will accommodate 8.22 million people in 2043. One in every three people are expected to be older than 65 in 2066. The long-held Chinese traditions for burial of deceased with reverence and honour, coupled with the chronic land shortage have presented an excessive demand for cemetery space. Niches are seldom recycled and the inadequate supply of new columbarium niche requires the family of the deceased to consider alternative way for keeping cremated ashes. To ease the demand, “green burial” has been launched and promoted by the HKSAR government through different print and social media. Currently, scattering of cremains in Gardens of Remembrance or at sea are the two common ways to perform green burial. The public acceptance of green burial is still a questionable and is under-researched.
This study is going to deploy innovative technology, virtual reality (VR) to increase physical and psychological fidelity in highly resembled scenarios for the people. On one hand, VR gives immeasurable value to people when they are enabled to navigate different circumstances (physical fidelity) before considering the use of green burial. On the other hand, VR enables the people to engage in different mental processes (psychological fidelity) replicated from an array of cognitive reaction and sentiments with the choice of green burial. In order to optimize the configuration of the VR settings, we will conduct a face-to-face, semi-structured and in-depth interview with different practitioners. In the study, we explore: (1) To what extent the enhancement of physical fidelity of innovative technologies debunk public’s misconception of green burial? (2) To what extent the enhancement of psychological fidelity of innovative technologies debunk public’s misconception of green burial? (3) To what extent the simulated experience derived from innovation technologies change the public acceptance of green burial?