MFA Interaction Design at the School of Visual Arts


Michael Yap

You die only once, at the very end, and you are powerless to stave off this inevitable loss.
—Jason Rohrer

Memento Mori

Visualizing the effects of health behavior on biological age for people to live longer healthier lives.

Memento Mori is a system that consists of a health tracker and avatar display that work together to measure and visualize the effects of health behavior on how soon or later a person will die. Health can now be measured through a new metric: biological age. In calculus with life expectancy, biological age determines how much of a person's life remains.

The tracker is an ultra-compact sensor that automatically tracks and wirelessly uploads data about a person's health behavior such as physical activity. It is as small as a coin and slips inconspicuously into a pocket. With a tap of a finger, biological and chronological ages, and life expectancy are illuminated and displayed.

The display synthetically ages living organisms as avatars. Avatars are embodiments of a person's chronological and biological ages. The display of a person who is “biologically young” shows little contrast between avatars as they develop, wither, and die in unison. The avatars of a person who is “biologically old” shows great contrast: the biological age avatar dies prematurely, just as the person will in life.