Tikker: Your Personal Death Watch

Looking to go macabre in your wearables? Check out Tikker: your own personal death watch!

This nifty new gadget received a nice profile over at The Atlantic yesterday, and it purports to perform the supernatural: counting down the years, months, weeks, days, hours and seconds until you DIE.

In truth, the smart watch is not really all that creepy. It doesn’t forecast that day you choke on a ham sandwich (one too many, I knew it!) or get run over by a bus while looking at your Tikker. After purchasing, new users are required to fill out a form about their health factors, including age, dietary intake, exercise and other risks that could impact their date of death. From this information, Tikker creates a customized estimation of the date they’re bound to kick the bucket.

So, for only $59, you could be constantly aware of the day you’re supposed to die, based on imperfect and incomplete estimations accrued from other human’s health profiles. Sounds a little needlessly depressing and useless, right?

The Tikker folks would be to differ. From their website:

“All we have to do is learn how to cherish the time and the life that we have been given, to honor it, suck the marrow from it, seize the day and follow our hearts. And the best way to do this is to realize that seconds, days and years are passing never to come again. And to make the right choices.

Anger or forgiveness? Tic-toc. Wearing a frown or a smile? Tic-toc. Happy or upset? Tic-toc. 

THAT’S WHY WE’VE CREATED Tikker, the death watch that counts down your life, just so you can make every second count.”

By being aware of your own mortality wasting away in real-time, you will become inspired to live life to the fullest, checking off all those wonderful things on your bucket list before your time is up. Sort of makes sense now, right?

Here are some thoughts about the least existential smart watch on the market today:

– Death has always been the ultimate inspiration to live and live fully; it’s why bucket lists were invented in the first place. As is evidenced by Tikker’s website, “following your passion” has become a popular requisite to a meaningful life–there are multiple references to Steve Jobs’ now infamous Stanford commencement address, imploring the impressionable audience to not settle for anything less than doing what they love. What’s interesting is that the entire idea of “following your passion” is a relatively new phenomenon. Harvard Business Review posted an excellent write-up on how the phrase “follow your passion” started to appear in the English language with increasing regularity in the 1990’s, followed by an explosion in the 2000’s and how that has affected Millennial’s career attitudes and prospects.

– I can see an integration with Google Glass right around the corner, letting you literally stare death in the face at all times.

– Tikker will sell, but not due to the high-minded aspirations for which it was created, I think. Say you’re at a party and you see someone wearing a Tikker (and you don’t know what it was because you’re not part of the intellectual 1% that reads this blog). You ask this person “That’s an interesting looking watch. What is it?” The stranger proceeds to say “This is a Tikker. It is always counting down the seconds until my death, so I can be constantly reminded about how precious life is and that I need to live every day like it was my last…” sounds a little douchey, no? I can see these being bought by self-interested snobs who wear it just so that they can say that line to random people, or by Owen Wilson from You, Me and Dupree.

– Does the date on which you’re supposed to die change if you change your lifestyle? If you start sleeping more, will the date get bumped up by a couple months? Does this work in real-time? Like, if I eat a bacon cheeseburger for lunch, can I literally watch as  my lifespan decreases by 48 seconds? That would be HILARIOUS/really disturbing.

– In A History of the Future in 100 Objects, author Adridan Hon predicts that the next largescale and successful social network will be one that feeds into quasi-religious/philosophical needs among users; it will help people find meaning within their own life through their social connections, and those struggling with personal aspects/demons can immediately find support. I wonder if Tikker is a foreshadowing of integrations between technology and spiritual fulfillment.

(Wait… nevermind. That already exists.)


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