10-08-2017 07:30 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Octogenarian has a passion for making apps
82-year-old Masako Wakamiya is one of the world's oldest iPhone app developers. She works to make smart phones accessible to the elderly. She believes that people above 60 need to learn new skills to stay active and healthy.
After Ms. Wakamiya retired as a bank clerk in the 1990s, she began to take a liking towards computers. She started with BBS messaging which was a precursor to the internet, before building her skills on a Microsoft PC, and then Apple's Mac and iPhones.
She urged software developers to contribute more towards the elderly but met with disappointment. That is when she decided to take matters into her own hands. She taught herself to code and set about to make apps for the elderly.
She developed Hinadan, one of Japan's first dedicated app games for the over-60s. Hinadan which means “the doll staircase” was inspired by the Hina Matsuri, a doll festival which takes place every March, where ornamental dolls representing the Emperor, his family and their guests are displayed in a specific arrangement.
In the game, the user has to memorize the correct positions of the dolls and arrange them accordingly. The app has been downloaded 42,000 times with hundreds of positive comments from users.
Her app has made her so popular that this year Apple invited her to participate at their prestigious Worldwide Developers Conference, where she was the oldest app creator to take part.