“Keep on Keeping On” was the theme of Interactive Media Design instructor, Ms Foong Pin Sym’s talk on how to make desirable, useable interactive systems for the elderly. The Active Ageing Hackathon was focused on developing technology which can help senior citizens not only to lead healthy, active and independent lives but also to continue to be valued and contributing members in their communities.
In her talk to the workshop attendees, whose average age was 32, Pin Sym outlined the vagaries of the ageing experience and how that changes people as users of technology. Ultimately, the ageing is everybody, and what we want most are applications that help us to continue doing what we love and being whom we are.
The workshop was followed by a 48 hour hackathon where Pin Sym and other people working with elderly user groups, guided eager participants into conceiving product ideas and then fashioning prototypes out of some of the ideas. The possibility of some of the prototypes being eventually developed into marketable and useful products, attracted diverse and talented students and professionals from research, education, corporate and government sectors, including A*Star, NUS, NTU, Tan Tock Seng Hospital and the CPF Board.
The list of winners is available here .They reflect the incredible diversity of talents and ideas the hackathon generated.
Pin Sym was pleasantly surprised at the number of people interested in working with the silver user group in Singapore. “It was an honor to be invited to speak at this Hackathon, and to have a chance to work with these talented and passionate individuals.”
EDIT: For a written version of the talk, please click here.