After serving in the Japanese banking industry for several years, this 81-year-old woman decided to excel in the tech field as well.
Masako Wakamiya noticed the shortage of fun apps available for people of her age. After being refused by several people to create a senior citizen-focused app, Wakamiya took the matter of creating an app for people her age into her own hands.
"We easily lose games when playing against young people, since our finger movements can't match their speed. I wanted to create a fun app to get elderly people interested in smartphones. It took about half a year to develop,” she added.
The retired banker, who describes herself as a chatterbox, found it difficult to get out of her house and socialize with her friends because of her elderly mother who she has to look after.
The app called Hinadan is an iOS game based on Japan’s traditional festival Hinamatsuri, which means Doll’s Day. The Japanese festival is celebrated every year in early March.
Just like Hinamatsuri, the game gives the users an opportunity to decorate the dolls and get them in the right position for the festival.
“You don't have to be a professional. If you have creativity, if you have a playful mind, you can create teaching materials. I have lots of ideas and want to create new apps, but my programming skills are poor," she said. "I need more time to develop them.”
Wakamiya learnt to use the internet at age 60 with the help of a “silver club” and connected with senior citizens on the platform.
“I talked with a lot of silver guys,” she said.
The 81-year-old app creator now gives computers classes and blogs regularly in Japanese.