Need a little extra motivation to book that vacation, write that novel, or even just get out of bed? An incessant reminder of your mortality might just do the trick. A new iOS app called Deadline predicts the date and time of your death based on data from Apple’s HealthKit. Feed the app basic information about your medical history and lifestyle, and it spits out the date that might just appear on your tombstone, along with a countdown clock that lets you watch as the seconds evaporate into regret.
Despite its logo, a silhouetted dead bird with its legs in the air, the app’s objectives are anything but morbid. “Consider this a way to motivate yourself to be healthier,” the description reads, although it goes on to hedge that its prediction is nothing more than a statistical estimation, and regular doctor visits are still a good idea. Though similar apps exist, Deadline claims to be the only one with a home screen widget that offers quick access to your countdown, lest you need a quick reality check after two hours looking at photos of dogs in Halloween costumes.
The good news is that the app will extend your predicted lifespan if you adopt healthier habits. Its approach to motivation, then, suits both users who respond to negative reinforcement and those who need a little bit of cheerleading to get to the gym.
It’s a bit ironic, though, that an app that aims to motivate users to be healthier comes from the same company that gives us Flabby Bird. Will you live out your remaining days eating chia pudding and training for marathons, or guiding a “horizontally challenged fowl through treacherous obstacles?” The choice is yours.
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Write to Eliza Berman at firstname.lastname@example.org