Arduino Death Clock
Countdown the years/days/seconds remaining in your life.
What is this?
A death clock. Based on a average life expectancy, you can use this clock to countdown the time until your expected last day of life.
I use it as a regular reminder that my life has a limit; a best-before-date. This knowledge helps me make better decisions about how to spend my time and how I want to live with the time I have.
What's my life expectancy?
We can't know the future, so we can't accurately predict how long you'll live. The next best option is to use research & statistics to generate a probability of your life expectancy.
Here are a couple of life expectancy calculators that (I think) have some science behind them:
- Abaris - How long will I live?
- I like that it considers health & lifestyle factors
- US Social Security Administration: Life Expectancy Calculator
- I like that it gives estimates based on future ages. The Lindy Effect is real (up to the biological limits of the human body).
What do I need to build it?
- Arduino board (I used the Uno)
- 16x2 LC display (LCD), though you can use (almost) any LCD component that you can connect to a breadboard.
- breadboard & contact wires
- Arduino dev environment
If you don't already have an Arduino or display, I would recommend Adafruit.
How to build the circuit
Fortunately, someone has already put together a great set of tutorials on setting up the LCD. This "Hello World!" tutorial will show you how to complete the circuit and run a test (if you like).
What are some modifications I could do?
Change the number formatting
This is easy to do just by looking at the code. You might want to reduce the number of zeros in the years display, for example.
External power source
I'm sure you're thinking that it would be great to not have to keep the Arduino plugged into the wall all the time. You can get an external power source (like one from Adafruit) to make that easy.
Since the Arduino board (a basic one) has no built in clock, it also can't find the current time by itself. So, if you unplug your Arduino Death Clock then the countdown will return the same as the last time you plugged it in.
To resolve this issue, read on.
Add a clock source
There are components you can buy to act as a clock source (like the DS1307 crystal), otherwise you can add an ethernet or wifi connector and use NTP over the internet. The Arduino Time Library that this project uses has some code examples that you can pull from.
If you do implement this, PRs are welcome.