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Many people defy their age by means of getting better as they grow older. Masako “Ma-chan” Wakamiya, grandmother from Japan, is a living testimony that age is just a number and that it is never too late to create something that is innovative.

“The internet gave me wings. Those wings took me to a wide world I never knew before I used a computer.”

Wakamiya is an 82-yr-old who decided to get into mobile app development. TedXTokyo said that she and her friends created a website called Mellow Club in 1999. The club is a group ‘for the aged and by the aged.’ There are many active members in Japan.

Despite her age, Wakamiya runs a website called Mellow Denshoukan. This site is a digital archive to share personal experiences of those who have witnessed World War II and the post-war period.

Now, Wakamiya decided to expand the project to mobile and developed a mobile application. Hinadan is a game application for seniors or what she calls “people her of age.” The game is a one-of-a-kind innovative application.

Hinadan is played by trying to arrange dolls from a Japanese doll festival. Wakamiya’s idea came from combining “Hina,”  traditional Japanese Emperor and Empress dolls, and the word “dan.” The real aim of her application is to educate people how to dress up dolls in a correct manner.

The app is also a way to prepare individuals in Japan for Hinamatsuri, or Girls’ Day. Hinadan recognizes that many people are not aware of the Hinas’ proper arrangement.

Mobile App for Senior, Developed by 82 Year-Old

At the Worldwide Developers Conference, WWDC, in California, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, announced Wakamiya was the oldest developer in attendance. Her mobile application also received five stars in the App Store.

According to Wakamiya, “The internet gave me wings. Those wings took me to a wide world I never knew before I used a computer.”

She made sure to teach herself how to operate a personal computer in order to stay connected with family, friends, and the world. Through six months of attending a computer class, she discovered the ins and outs of Swift programming.

Senior woman using a tablet.

Swift programming is easy to learn but it is also a very powerful programming language. Apple Incorporated made the method for iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, and Linux.

Hinadan is the brainchild of the 82-yr-old developer. Wakamiya has proven that even though people are aging does not mean they cannot crack difficult codes. Because of her dedication, she isn’t letting the digital age slow her down or stop. Instead she dove right in and made the most of it.

She said that “Most applications are for young people, and people of my generation find them boring. As we age, our eyesight gets worse, and we can’t move our fingers the way we’d like to. This game is designed so that even people with these problems can enjoy it.”

The app is now widely accepted and enjoyed by many elderly women. The 82-yr-old developer also encourages seniors to be more involved with the today’s innovative technology. This success makes Wakamiya do and want more. She plans to develop another app, which she thinks will be beneficial to an even wider range of people.

Wakamiya proves that age is no barrier to creativity or innovation, even when it comes to digital technology. The information age is for everyone, by everyone.

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