Watch Your Life Tick Away With This Lifetime Countdown Clock

Good news, everyone! Now you can have an ongoing existential crisis, every second of your ever-dwindling life with this personal life countdown timer.

Why would anyone want to be confronted by a count of the number of seconds left until you’ve made 80 trips around the sun? We can think of plenty of reasons not to, but creator [Jia Xun Chai] thought it would be somehow motivating to see the seconds tick irretrievably by while going about his life. Thus the idea for “Lifeclocc” came to be, with its ten seven-segment displays and Teensy to tally up and display the number of seconds left in a nominal 80-year life. A DS3231 RTC module keeps it on track between power-offs. It’s not clear what happens when you hit your 80th birthday; we assume it rolls over and starts counting up as you start playing in the bonus round. No word either on what happens should you croak with time left on the clock. Answer these questions and many more by building one yourself, or you can just wait for the Kickstarter.

It took [Jia Xun] three years to develop Lifeclocc, during which time his personal life clock decreased by 94,608,000 seconds. We will say that the finished product, with its matte-finish PCB, makes a handsome timepiece. Circuit sculptor [Mohit Bhoite] took a less-angsty stab at a similar clock, the cute appearance of which is no doubt intended to blunt the pain of impending doom.

26 thoughts on “Watch Your Life Tick Away With This Lifetime Countdown Clock

  1. These clocks are not realistic because even if we just look at the average lifespan for a person at a given age, of a given sex, and in a specific country it does not take into account the fact that the rate of improvement in medical science’s ability to extend your lifespan is not a simple linear curve as it is accelerating. To be realistic you have to contemplate the possibility that the clock could slow down, or even run backwards eventually. That would be an interesting upgrade, use analysis of some med tech related metric to set the clock speed. Perhaps even add a geiger counter to add extra clock ticks due to radiation exposure, but even that is complex as small amounts may actually prevent cancer, and you’d need to take the radiation detector with you wherever you go. Then there is the other big factor, that you can control, your diet. So you see for it to be much more than a fantasy reference to a meme you have to start tracking every aspect of your life, which some people apparently do.

    1. So why don’t we fix he flaws? There are models of expected life expectancy which take into account your age. So we assume the owner doesn’t die, keep running the model and keep displaying the time, When the owner is young the clock will count down at about 1s per wallclock second. However, as you get older the countdown will slow so that it never gets to zero. This is rather nice, it’s like saying well done for making it this far.

      1. It won’t be much of RFI if we are talking abut kHz. Even counting the upper harmonics you are dealing with very long wavelengths in the kilometers. So highly unlikely you can make an effective radiator out of traces. Anyone that knows enough about EMC could easily reduce these problems. It is not like consumer products are not doing this since 1970’s. Stop with the FUD.
        10kHz is 30km.

        1. You’re right that I had no idea how to do multiplexed displays, and I could have figured out how to do that. But I was fairly pleased with how the design turned out so I didn’t bother pursuing that option.

          There are still many improvements that can be made to the underlying electronics, but I will be focusing on delivering this version before iterating on it more.

    1. Actually there is a recent movie (count down?) based on that idea – probably a shitty movie.

      Apps can collect some info based on your location and velocity. So if you are walking around a lot, then you might be in better physical shape than driving. If you are hanging out in bad area, fast food joints, smoky bars, hospital etc a lot, it could lower your numbers. It can also look at your web browsing/shopping/social media activities to figure out some of your habit/lifestyle/mood/state of mine.

        1. I m talking about monitoring high risk/health/bad habits monitor instead of just making stupid countdown art/prop as an app for the user. It is something a person opt in much like calorie, fitness monitors. There are so much analytical potentials that big data companies would love to jump in. Sorry guys I am publishing this idea here, so kiss off your patents.

          It is a totally different thing and nothing to do with China nor trying to impose civic regulation.

          China uses camera tracking/AI recognition to monitor/automate their social system. They want to influence/control people’s social behavior. I mean things that would have been city bylaws/fines e,g, jay walking, littering, not picking after your dog, causing nuisances, unpaid fines, owing/coning people money etc. They try to shame/fine/punish these behavior and take away some ‘perks’ e.g. travelling first class/high seed trains, getting bank loans, insurance etc. If you owe other money, do you deserve to travel ins style? Off to the crowded bus you go. One in theory offset these scores by voluntary work etc. I think there would be support if the rude behavior of Chinese tourists outside their country could affect their scores too. Unfortunately systems like this can be abused and used as a mean of political control.

    2. I originally was going to code an app to do this, and some similar ones already exist. This product was born from my wanting to tinker with hardware. Also I liked having a physical device instead of it being on my phone. I’m already on my phone too much as it is.

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