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81-Year-Old Woman Creates iPhone App

This 81-Year-Old Woman Created an App For the Elderly and It’s Pretty Awesome

For Masako Wakamiya, the required retirement at age 60 in Japan is not OK. While some elderly people choose to spend their retirement playing shuffleboard and hanging out with friends, Masako was uninterested in such a lifestyle. It's why after being a banker for 43 years, she wanted to learn how to use a computer. Eventually her interest in computers and technology led Masako to creating her own app. But don't get it twisted; she didn't create Bubble Trouble or the next Temple Run; Masako created an app specifically for the elderly.

Masako created the iOS app called Hinadan (free), where users can decorate 12 dolls and make sure they are in the right position specifically for the Japanese festival Hinamatsuri. During Hinamatsuri, which means Doll's Day or Girls' Day in Japanese and takes place in early March, ornamental dolls dressed in traditional clothing are organized on four different tiers. The app shows people the correct way to place the dolls and have some fun while doing so. After the user gets all four levels correct, they'll be congratulated with a pop-up message, seen below.


"I wanted to create a fun app to get elderly people interested in smartphones," she told CNN. "It took about half a year to develop." She appeared at a TEDx conference in 2014, where she talked about the role that the elderly play in the digital world. Masako does not have any children and initially joined a silver club to learn how to use computers, which sparked her interest to create something bigger.

Although her interest in computers began years ago, Masako proved that creativity has no age limit. She calls herself a "technology evangelist" and frequently blogs about her work. "You don't have to be a professional," she said to CNN. "If you have creativity, if you have a playful mind, you can create teaching materials."

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