I was talking to my friend Scott the other day. He is what you could call a gadget athlete, very into the idea of tracking, and a master of the latest device, but not actually doing much exercise beyond walking to and from the train. But his latest purchase left me genuinely awestruck.
There, right next to his Nike FuelBand, was the Tikker – a tracker whose sole purpose is to count down to your death. It counts down the years, months, days, hours and seconds that you have left.
Its point is to be a constant reminder that time isn’t fungible, but a good that’s becoming scarcer every day. It reminded me a bit of Darren Almond’s clock installation – the quietly urgent tick tock that can be heard behind all the din.
It is of course mostly a gimmick. Actuarial tables can’t predict when you die nor will a watch. And I am hoping you are already doing some seizing of the day. And really, isn’t almost everything a waste of time, evanescent, gone without a trace? Isn’t that the bitter-sweetness of the human condition?
But it is a brilliant rebuff to so many trackers already out there (and having checked into CES, we ain’t seen nothing yet). It says, to me, that whatever you happen to track, it’s all futile in the end, we’re all just counting down to when our number is up.