New “Countdown” Wrist Watch Predicts Exactly When You Will Die

“What then is time?  If no one asks me, I know what it is.  If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know.” 

–St. Augustine

At New Year’s, more than on any other day of the year, we ponder the meaning of time.  We remember the events of the year just past, and look with hope to a brighter future in the year to come.

But some of us won’t be here next year.

Some will succumb to a lingering illness; others will fall prey to evil or simply happenstance—dying at the hand of a criminal, or at the wheel of a car.  We give lip service to this fact, yet we can’t really imagine the ol’ earth rotating on its axis without us.

But what if you knew—what if you could say with certainty exactly when you would die?  What would you do as the moment neared?

Fredrik Colting, a former undertaker from Sweden who now lives in Los Angeles, is pragmatic about it.  “Death is non-negotiable,” Colting says.  “Life isn’t.”

That’s why Colting has developed the “Tikker”—a wristwatch which counts down your life.  Tikker utilizes an algorithm developed by the federal government to estimate a person’s life expectancy.  The wearer of the watch completes a questionnaire, inputs his or her age, and the countdown begins.

Colting, who got the idea for the countdown watch after his own grandfather’s death, explained his motivation in an interview with ABC News.  He said:

“I think that if we are aware of death, and our own expiration, that we will have a greater appreciation for life.  Some people have gone through near-death experiences, or survived serious illnesses, and they come out of it with a new way to look at life.  They no longer sweat the small stuff, but are simply happy to be alive.”

Colting claims to have received thousands of orders or his “death watch” from “everyone from teenagers to retired folks” in the United States, France, Brazil, Vietnam and Russia, as well as other countries.  He reports that Tikker will be available in April 2014 for only $79.

Colting’s group has produced this little Kickstarter video which explains his project.

  • Ambaa

    How weird. I definitely don’t need a watch to remind me of my mortality. I am aware of it every day and a lot of times I find that crippling. It’s hard to be sure that you’re doing the maximum you should be every day. I wonder whether religious people are more apt to be unusually aware of mortality. It’s something that’s been present for me since I was a small child.

  • Manny

    “what if you could say with certainty exactly when you would die? What would you do as the moment neared?”
    Confession, communion, last rites, and then pray, pray, pray. :) And be with my family.
    Who would want a watch like that? Not me.