The success of LifeGem is just one example of a radical shift in the funeral industry, said Mark Musgrove, immediate past president of the National Funeral Directors Association.
Americans are moving away from traditional funerals and are seeking instead less somber occasions that reflect the personality of the deceased.
They are also looking for alternative ways to remember their loved ones.
While a decline in religiosity has contributed to the shift, Musgrove said it's mainly a reflection of a cultural phenomenon.
"Back in the 60's the baby boomers were getting married in scuba gear," he said. "They're getting older and they have the same individualism."