Smartphones have become an integral part of human lives, We can’t think to get through our day without using them. App developers design amazing apps to make lives of people more easier via these devices. 82 Year old Masako Wakamiya had multiple visions when she started learning to program her first app.
Masako started working when we didn’t even have calculators, Math was Abacus centric. Today she has become one of the oldest iPhone app developer. Her vision was to make the smartphone more accessible for the elderly.
According to Masako, As people age, you tend to lose a lot of things, The Minuses are numerous but when someone learns something new like programming, it’s a plus for the person and it’s motivating.
Post retirement in the 1990s as a bank clerk she became pretty interested in computers and started to refine her skills in areas of Microsoft PC, and then Apple’s Mac and iPhones. She tried getting software developers to come up with more the old folks but due to lack of responses, she decided to do it herself.
Masako developed ‘Hinadan’, The Japan’s first dedicated gaming app for over 60’s, This gained Apple’s attention and Apple invited her to participate at the Worldwide Developers Conference.
The App Hinadan was inspired by a Japanese doll festival, Where ornamental dolls which represent emperor, his family and the guests are displayed in a specific arrangement. The player has to arrange them in correct positions. It is not as simple as it sounds. The app has been downloaded more than 40000 times and has an average rating of 4+.
Masako’s vision is to come up with more apps which can entertain the elderly, A collaboration of youth and the elderly which could help elderly to transmit the culture and learning to the youth and making elderly able to learn again.
Technology does help humanity in many ways, it’s about time humanity learns to master these tools to help the present and the future of humanity.
You can visit Masako’s website here