We all know our days are numbered. (Well, unless this pans out — fingers crossed!) So, is there any benefit to being constantly reminded of that? The Life Expectancy Timepiece by David Kendrick is one way to find out: it displays your "actuarially determined lifespan," giving you a rough idea of how long you've got left.
The patent for the design was awarded in 1991, but is resurfacing now. Two decades later it's still a captivating idea.
That actuarially determined lifespan means that there's an algorithm at work here, one that weighs your age against certain life-impacting factors such as how long your parents lived beyond 70 (which would improve your chances here), what your diet is like, how much you exercise and even your living environment and disposition. Living in a small town, for instance, would add four years to the estimate, while living in a city like myself would knock off two. That sounds about right — though city folk can be pretty tenacious. Likewise, happy individuals are thought to live longer, while stressed out persons cash in a little sooner.
You can see some of the mitigating/exacerbating factors here:
A lot of the information shaping this data is outdated, but the idea of an actuarially-informed algorithm is a sound one. With your estimated days left to live ever-present on your wrist, would you feel tense, or driven?
To echo Boing Boing's Mark Frauenfelder — Kickstarter waiting to happen?