Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

A Morbid Carpe Diem: Tikker Watch Counts Down Wearer’s Life Expectancy

We write a lot about smartwatches that count steps and measure heart rates. But here’s one that quantifies the biggest life metric of them all — time.

tikker prototype1The Tikker, which is currently raising funding on Kickstarter (it’s more than two-thirds of the way to $25,000), is a watch that displays your own personal life expectancy, as deduced by a basic medical survey. Then the countdown begins. It also tells normal time.

The point is to remind yourself to make the most of your life, said Fredrik Colting, the L.A.-based creator of Tikker, who has priced the first batch at $39.

“It’s been called a ‘death watch’ by some, but I really see it more as a happiness watch,” Colting said.

Colting said he has received a full range of responses, including one from a moderator of a large Buddhist organization who said it resonated well with their view of life and death. “Some think it’s a horrible and morbid idea, while others really see the positive message of Tikker, that it’s your time, and that you should value it as much as possible,” he said.

Of course, Tikker is unlikely to be terribly accurate, and on a daily basis, its life-expectancy display won’t change much. But the seconds are always ticking down.

“Tikker isn’t really about the technology, because what it is, in its most basic form, is an advanced egg timer,” Colting said.

“But the point we are trying to make is that the wearer should in some way be conscious of their own expiration, and that in turn will make you better appreciate life. Like people who’ve had near-death experiences, or lived through diseases.”

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik