Masako Wakamiya: Oldest iPhone App Developer in the World
She is from Japan. She is 87 years old. She started learning computers at the age of 60. Do you need any more motivation than this to start learning a new skill that you have been procrastinating about for a long time? Masako started learning computers at the age of 60, and her dedication led her to create Hinandan the first Japanese gaming app for 60+ people.
The app is based on a Japanese doll festival called Hina Matsuri. The app is currently available only in Japan and is quickly growing through the ranks of the app store due to its now quite famous developer.
The app has garnered quite a lot of attention because of the elderly developer. TRTWorld recently posted a YouTube video which you can see below
Embracing Technology at 80: Masako Wakamiya’s Inspiring Journey
In a testament to the adage, “age is just a number,” Masako Wakamiya, a seasoned professional with over 43 years in the banking industry, has emerged as a beacon for senior citizens in Japan. At the age of 80, instead of slowing down, she embarked on a mission to empower her generation with digital literacy. Wakamiya’s story is one of resilience, innovation, and a commitment to lifelong learning.
Pioneering Digital Inclusion for Seniors
Digital Literacy Advocacy:
Wakamiya’s journey as a tech educator for seniors began over two decades ago when she became a promoter of the Mellow Club, a platform fostering exchanges among seniors. Her advocacy for digital literacy took a tangible form when she embraced technology to bridge the generational digital divide. Her mantra is clear: life becomes more interesting beyond 60, and accumulated wisdom blossoms.
Crafting a Hit Gaming App at 80
Hinadan: A Unique Gaming Experience:
At the age of 80, Wakamiya demonstrated her tech prowess by creating the gaming app ‘Hinadan.’ The app draws its name from the Japanese festival ‘Hinamatsuri,’ also known as the doll festival. In Hinadan, players engage in arranging dolls on a virtual shelf, guided by distinct beeps indicating correct or incorrect placements. What some might perceive as mundane became a resounding success among the elderly, proving that age is no barrier to embracing technology.
Keeping Minds Sharp and Skills Sharper
Cognitive Benefits of Gaming:
Beyond entertainment, Hinadan serves a crucial purpose for Wakamiya’s generation—it keeps minds sharp and facilitates continuous learning. The game’s interactive nature offers cognitive stimulation, helping seniors enhance their mental agility and acquire new skills. Wakamiya has effectively harnessed the power of technology to promote active aging and mental well-being.
International Recognition and Collaboration
Meeting Tim Cook: A Symbolic Moment:
Wakamiya’s impact transcended borders when she caught the attention of Apple CEO Tim Cook. Invited to the U.S. for a meeting with Cook, Wakamiya discussed the potential of her app running on all Apple devices. This collaboration symbolizes the breaking down of age-related barriers in the tech industry, with Wakamiya proving that innovation knows no age limits.
A Creative Vision at 87
Excel Art and Ongoing Contributions:
Now 87, Wakamiya remains a trailblazer. In addition to her gaming app, she operates Excel art tutorials, showcasing her commitment to creativity and continued learning. Her journey sends a powerful message that age can amplify intelligence, and every stage of life is an opportunity for personal and professional growth.
Wakamiya’s Words of Wisdom
“I want to be creative. I have turned 87, and I feel I am more intelligent than before.” Wakamiya’s statement encapsulates the spirit of her journey—unleashing creativity, embracing technological innovation, and challenging societal perceptions about the capabilities of seniors.
Conclusion: A Digital Pioneer Redefining Aging
Masako Wakamiya’s story is a testament to the transformative power of technology and the indomitable spirit of lifelong learning. By creating a gaming app that resonates with seniors worldwide, she has redefined aging, proving that curiosity, innovation, and the pursuit of knowledge are timeless. As Wakamiya continues to inspire, her legacy becomes a guiding light for future generations navigating the intersection of technology and human potential.