Are you gearing up to plunge into a particularly challenging jigsaw puzzle, or maybe starting to read a very large book? If so, you may want to check the Tikker wristwatch, which estimates how long you have to live and provides a running countdown. Aside from reminding you of this ultimate deadline, its designers see the watch as conveying a message to slow down and appreciate life while you still have it.

The principle behind Tikker is very simple. It estimates your life expectancy based on a questionnaire and converts the answers into a countdown display in years, months, days, minutes, and seconds until your appointment with the Grim Reaper. It can even compensate for leap years.

This isn't meant as a morbid death vigil stretched out over (hopefully) decades, but rather the "death watch," as the designers have nicknamed it, is a way of making people appreciate life by breaking down the modern taboo about death.

“The occurrence of death is no surprise to anyone, but in our modern society we rarely talk about it," says Tikker creator Fredrik Colting. "I think that if we were more aware of our own expiration I’m sure we’d make better choices while we are alive.”

The idea behind Tikker started with Colting’s grandfather passed away. "It made me think about death and the transience of life, and I realized that nothing matters when you are dead. Instead what matters is what we do when we are alive."

The carpe diem thinking behind Tikker may be uplifting, but not all of us may desire to be reminded that we've been living on borrowed time since last Thursday.

Tikker is currently running a Kickstarter campaign through November 1 to raise funds to cover tooling and mechanical costs, ordering components, and assembly and testing, as well as ironing out final software and hardware problems. A US$39 pledge puts you in line for the Tikker.

The video below describes the philosophy behind Tikker.

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