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Active Ageing Hackathon - An Overview

The "Active Ageing Hackathon" was a 2 day hackathon from Aug 16-18 2013 focusing on how we can use technology to help seniors lead healthy, active and independent lives as they age, and continue to be valued and contributing members in their communities.  This event was organized by UP Singapore in partnership with the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) and StarHub Community.

Attracting over 120 participants, the weekend brought together seniors, youths, experts and researchers in geriatrics, healthcare professionals, designers and developers.

During the week leading up to the hackathon, participants had the chance to attend a series of talks by experts at the Active Ageing workshop. Participants had access to an array of technologies and data and were given the chance to connect with each other during the workshop. This resulted in some brilliant ideas, providing inspiration for the hackathon itself.

In just 36 hours, 15 teams used the Active Ageing Hackathon as a platform to came up with original prototypes that use data and technology in creative ways to help seniors live more healthy, connected lives in Singapore.

About the Active Ageing Hackathon

In Singapore, the proportion of citizens over the age of 65 is set to increase from the current 10% to 31% in the next 25 years. This change in demographics will not only pose great challenges, but also provide an opportunity to make Singapore a dynamic and inclusive place for seniors. By promoting a healthy lifestyle, providing tools for skill building and employment and encouraging cross-generational understanding, we can create an environment where seniors can lead vibrant, active lives as they age.

After the Active Ageing Hackathon, eligible teams may be potentially be granted up to $50,000 by NVPC through its Jump Start Fund, which provides early stage funding to jump start ideas involving volunteerism and/or philanthropy, and prototype them.

Dates : Fri, 16th Aug - Sun, 18th Aug 2013
Venue: 16th & 18th Aug 2013 - *SCAPE,#04-01, 2 Orchard Link Singapore 237978
17th Aug - The HUB Singapore,113 Somerset Road,Singapore 238165

Why You Should Attend

Active Ageing is the hackathon about designing and prototyping solutions to help seniors age in a healthy and active way. Developers, designers, caregivers, geriatrics experts, researchers, students and concerned citizens are invited to learn, play, share ideas, network, and get inspired.


Multiple workshops leading up to the weekend hackathon will dive into the issues surrounding Active Ageing and the technology we can use to tackle them. Our content workshops will feature experts in  gerontology and technology.


Meet passionate technology pros and eldercare experts.  Mingle with government policy makers, corporate innovators and community activists.  Find new connections and friends and maybe grab some drinks later!


Find partners, swap ideas, discover opportunities and create the next big thing. You may just end up starting your own business from this weekend!

Get rewarded

We have some exciting rewards coming your way - watch this space for news!

This event is free, but we require a $15 deposit in order to prevent overbooking. Deposits are refunded in full upon check-in at the hackathon.








Hackathon Challenges
Care Pack Wellbeing Challenge, Newton Circus

Care Pack enriches the daily life of seniors by providing smartphone apps that are custom designed to meet their needs.  For this challenge, we would like to use external sensors (wearable technology, or smart devices in the home) to provide even smarter services to our seniors.

Participants will be challenged to create prototypes that :

  • Make use of external sensors to deliver an innovative solution that improves the wellbeing of seniors.

Opportunity for the winning app to be added to and marketed with the Care Pack apps, and potential seed investment of up to S$10,000.

Silver Spring / Pwee Foundation Challenge

By tapping into the wealth of experience and knowledge that seniors possess, many individuals, companies and institutions stand to benefit. Seniors should be encouraged to seek employment, either paid or voluntary, allowing them to earn extra income  as well as share their expertise with younger generations.

Participants will be challenged to create prototypes that :

  • Use technology to capture and transfer the work experience and skills of seniors.

Opportunity to receive potential seed investment of up to S$10,000 from Pwee Foundation.

Volunteerism Challenge

To build a society that is accepting  and inclusive, avenues for inter-generational interaction are key. They promote understanding and bonding, helping to reduce social barriers that seniors often face. Such interactions can also help alleviate less positive perceptions society holds towards the older generation.

Can you use technology to increase senior volunteerism in the community?

Suntec Singapore Visualization Challenge

Teams that create the most innovative data visualizations will be invited to display them on Suntec Conference & Exhibition Center’s ‘BIG PICTURE’. Three stories high and 60 meters wide, the BIG PICTURE is the largest HD LED screen in the world. This is a chance for Mathematicians, Data Visualizers & Creative Teams to have their work displayed to the thousands of conference goers, office workers and shoppers that pass through Suntec Singapore every day.


Participants will have access to interesting, new data sets including :

• Individual Giving Survey Data from the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC).

• Singapore Memory Project data from the National Library Board.

• OneMap demographic data from Singapore Land Authority (SLA).

• Healthy Lifestyle Index data from Health Promotion Board (HPB).


Participants will also be able to experiment with Texas Instruments bluetooth sensors to build their prototypes.


Data Presentation from the Workshop

The Data Wiki



Laurence Lien

Laurence Lien is Chief Executive Officer of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) and Chairman of the Lien Foundation. Actively involved in the non-profit sector, Mr Lien is also Deputy Chairman of Caritas Singapore Community Council, President of the Centre for Non-Profit Leadership and Board Member of the Community Foundation of Singapore and the Lien Centre for Social Innovation at the Singapore Management University. Mr Lien is currently also a Nominated Member of Parliament and advocates for the social sector and civil society. Laurence previously served 14 years in the Singapore Administrative Service.


Darren Choo

Darren has 14 years of experience at StarHub and has seen the exciting journey of the evolution of social media in the company. His broad-based experience servicing different departments across the organization from his Customer Insight, CRM functions such as analytics & customer lifecycle management to cross product bundling, helped him to spearhead social CRM initiatives across StarHub.

Darren aims to convert content into conversations and conversations into collaboration and meaningful relationships. He loves to celebrate life through capturing moments of joy and beauty in different social media platforms.


Helen Lim

Helen has enjoyed almost 40 years of Corporate life as HR practitioner in both Singapore Public Sector and also in MNCs ( namely Public Service Commission, Ministry of Health, Civil Service Institute, Xerox Singapore / Malaysia, Haw Par Corporation, Ethyl Corporation, Uniroyal Chemical Corporation ). In the last 2 USA-based MNCs, Helen headed the HR function for the whole Asia Pacific region. Her main focus was on recruiting talent for each location and handling Mergers and Acquisition people-related issues.

In March 2009, Helen decided to seek an encore career that allows her to be her own boss, yet surrounded by trusted friends. Silver Spring is the answer. Silver Spring is a social enterprise based on business model of helping seniors become resilient and seek new challenges. Helen focuses on Re-Career coaching and placements, dedicated to “put the Bounce Back in Your Life”. It is about Rebound, Reinvent, Revitalize. Her passion is to help more people seek their encore careers and discover their unique ways to being fulfilled.

Since December 2009, Silver Spring also operates a Cafe that makes a difference....aptly called Chatters @ Silver Spring. It is about seniors coming back to show their cooking and serving talents.



Check out the Speaker Presentations

Eleanor Yap

Eleanor has over 22 years’ editorial experience, having worked for consumer and trade magazines, both in the US and Singapore. She was also a stringer at “The Philadelphia Inquirer”, while still a student at Temple University in the US. Returning to Asia, she is an advocate for seniors and active ageing, having worked for a seniors’ magazine, founding two seniors’ magazines and in 2009, starting her own seniors’ free online magazine called Ageless Online and later a blog called Ageless Voice to advocate senior issues.

Besides her work with Ageless Online, she is also involved in the non-profit sector. She is currently the managing editor of “SALT Online”, an e-magazine by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, which fosters the non-profit community in Singapore. She was also the managing editor of “Humaneity Magazine”, a publication that highlights volunteering, NGO/NPOs, CSR and philanthropy globally. Besides all her editorial work, she also enjoys volunteering and is currently involved with Club Rainbow.

See more at: http://www.agelessonline.net/editorial-team/#sthash.jyndzO81.dpuf


Steven Tucker

Dr Steven Tucker is an Internist and Medical Oncologist sub-specializing in the treatment of both breast and prostate cancer. He is also deeply passionate about the prevention of cancer and chronic disease through healthy lifestyle choices. In both his oncology and general medicine practice, 
he combines state of the art testing and medicine with a customized and personalized approach to chronic disease management. He advocates that simple and smart choices about food, activity (not just recreational sports), spirit and passion can have a significant impact on his patients’ health and longevity. An outgoing and animated speaker, he often lectures on personalized medicine and integrative approaches to health care. He uses all the contemporary tools available to fight cancer but ultimately believes that the best cures are through wellness and primary prevention. Dr Tucker is strong believer in patient engagement and health care social media; he tweets regularly via @drsteventucker.


Pin Sym Foong

Pin Sym is a user experience and technology design researcher with professional web development background. Her skills include human-centered research and design, prototyping, ethnographic methods, usability testing and evaluation. She has domain experience ranging across the fields of Media, Advertising, Publishing and Education.



StarHub Golden Guru - Sam Liu Chien

Sam believes his greatest strength is the ability to work with people of all levels.  He is a Senior IT Fellow/Trainer for more than 15 years. He was awarded the IT Active Agers in 2009 by IDA/ C3A . He is an Accredited Service Professional awarded by the Singapore Workers Development Skill, and a regular Forum Speaker in United States, Singapore and Regional Countries for various Government Agencies, Organizations and Tertiary Institutions. An Active social caseworker.

He is presently, spearheading the use of Microsoft State-of-the-Art Operating System - Windows 8 and Microsoft Suite 2013.



StarHub Golden Guru - Dora Lim Jeck Kiau

Dora says, “I am one of many qualified volunteer trainers who teaches seniors on ICT and conducts ICT talks. I volunteer as a trainer and tutor at the annual Silver Infocomm Day initiated by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore and at The Organisation of Senior Volunteers (RSVP).

In July Dora was nominated by Council for Third Age (C3A) to take part in an Intergenerational Learning Program (ILP) with Tampines Junior College students in a learning journey of the wide eyed and wonderful world of digital storytelling with other seniors, entitled “Special Memories: A Digital Story Telling Workshop”.




StarHub Golden Guru - Paul Low

Low Lam Piew, age 67 is a retired Senior Flight Engineer of SIA with many years of training and instructing experience in the aviation field. He is widely travelled and sees technology as an extension of travelling and learning. Starting from as early as 1998, Mr Low has learned to use the IT skills and knowledge to bridge the distance between overseas family members and friends. He is constantly finding new ways to use IT to enrich his communication between friends and family, watching free movies,managing his travel plans and reading online magazines and journals. Always happy to learn and share with fellow seniors.


StarHub Golden Guru - Benjy Tan

Benjy was a secondary school teacher and his latest interest is low cost 3D printing and the use of Google Sketchup for creating small 3D projects. Besides this he is also into content management systems like moodle, joomla and wordpress for websites. He also occasionally dabbles in equities and enjoys exercising to keep fit. Benjy is new to hacking and would like to learn the White hat tools of ‘Hackathon’ from you guys out there.



Day 1: 16 Aug 2013 (Fri), 6:30pm – 9:30pm
*SCAPE #04-01, 2 Orchard Link Singapore 237978
Time Activity Speaker Organisation
6:30 PM Registration & Dinner
7:00 PM Welcome & Introductions Mr. Daryl Arnold CEO, Newton Circus
7:10 PM Opening Address Mr. Laurence Lien CEO, NVPC
7:25 PM Starhub Community & Ideas Exchange Mr. Darren Choo AVP, Social CRM, Starhub
7:35 PM Silver Spring / Pwee Foundation Challenge Ms. Helen Lim Founder & Managing Director, Silver Spring Pte Ltd
7:45 PM NC Mobile Wellness Challenge Mr. Mats Lundgren Newton Circus
8:00 PM Housekeeping Mr. Ciaran Lyons Partner, Newton Circus
8:10 PM Ideas Pitching - What, Why, Needs
8:30 PM Team formation & registration
9:00 PM Closing


Day 2: 17 Aug 2013 (Sat), 9:30am – 6:00pm
The HUB Singapore, 113 Somerset Road,Singapore 238165
Time Activity Speaker Organisation
9:30 AM Teams reconvene and work on their prototypes
12:30 PM Lunch
1:30 PM Mentoring
3:30 PM Tea
6:00 PM Closing Pep Talk Mr. Ciaran Lyons Partner, Newton Circus


Day 3: 18 Aug 2013 (Sun), 10:00am – 4:00pm
*SCAPE #04-01, 2 Orchard Link Singapore 237978
Time Activity Speaker Organisation
10:00 AM Presentation Clinics Mr. Daryl Arnold
1:00 PM Lunch
2:00 PM Prototype Presentations (2 min / team)
3:00 PM Judges deliberate
HuGGler - Pet Robot Therapy Dr. Tan Yeow Kee I2R, A*Star
3:30 PM Winners & Prize Presentation
4:00 PM Tea & Close


13 Aug 2013 (Tue), 6.30pm to 9:00pm
*SCAPE #04-01, 2 Orchard Link Singapore 237978
Time Activity Speaker Organisation
6:30 PM Registration & Dinner
6:55 PM Welcome & Introductions Mr. Daryl Arnold CEO, Newton Circus
7:05 PM AGEless in Singapore Ms. Eleanor Yap Founder & Editor, Ageless Online
7:20 PM SLA OneMap data Ms. Amanda Poh Principal Executive, GeoSpatial Division, Singapore Land Authority
7:35 PM Silver Talent to Golden Opportunity Ms. Helen Lim Founder & Managing Director, Silver Spring
7:50 PM My IT Journey & Ideas Exchange Mr. Sam Liu & Ms. Dora Lim Golden Gurus, Starhub Community
8:05 PM Ageing In An Era of Data & Devices Dr. Steven Tucker Tucker Medical
8:25 PM Elder-friendly User Interaction design Ms. Foong Pin Sym NUS, Dept of Communications and New Media
8:40 PM Singapore Memory Project data Mr. Kayes Lim (Project Manager) & Mr. Lim Chee Kiam (Snr Solution Architect) National Library Board
8:50 PM Other data & Sensors Mr. Ciaran Lyons Partner, Newton Circus
9:00 PM Q&A and Close


About NVPC

The National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) is the national body that promotes and develops volunteerism and philanthropy across all sectors.  It is a first-stop centre, catalyst and networking agency to foster the giving spirit in Singapore, whether of time, money or in kind services.  Their focus is on strengthening Community Giving efforts through promotional and networking platforms, public education and training, as well as grants, research and publications.NVPC offers funding for new initiatives that meet community needs in Singapore through the Jump Start Fund (JSF) and New Initiative Grant (NIG).

After the Active Ageing Hackathon, eligible teams may potentially be granted up to $50,000 by NVPC through its Jump Start Fund, which provides early stage funding to jump start ideas involving volunteerism and/or philanthropy, and prototype them.

NVPC's New Initiative Grant (NIG) is seed funding for new, impactful initiatives which address community needs in Singapore through strong volunteerism and/or philanthropy.

UP Singapore is a recipient of NVPC's New Initiative Grant in 2013.

About StarHub Community

StarHub Community is a crowdsourcing platform for community members to ask questions and find answers from fellow users. The community helps thousands of customers every month find solutions. In particular, the StarHub Golden Gurus forum was launched to help seniors jump onto the technology bandwagon.

StarHub is proud to partner Newton Circus for the Active Ageing Hackathon to crowdsource innovative ideas and empower seniors to enjoy a more enriching life through technology.


NVPC Social Challenge - Winner

Team Square Meals

An innovative, location-based Food Donation mobile platform that facilitates and improves the efficiency of public food donations to needy seniors. Square Meals utilises NFC, QR code and Smartphone techology to enable Citizens to easily purchase meal credits for under-served seniors in their local community.  The seniors are notified of this charitable gift via an sms message and can claim the donated meal directly at participating hawker centres and food vendors.  The system integrates with NVPC's SG Gives portal and SLA's OneMap to make it easy and convenient to make and claim food donations. The platform also collects demographic and behavioural data about donors, seniors and food vendors. Check out Square Meal's presentation here and their pitch video here.

NVPC Social Challenge - Runner up 

Team Smart Button

SmartButton is a neat tool that streamlines and automates multi-step application tasks for Seniors, so they can enjoy useful, everyday applications with ease.  For example, seniors will be able to make Skype calls, or set up LinkedIn accounts with a simple touch of a SmartButton.  SmartButton can be programmed and purchased for any number of application tasks.  Developers or corporates can also make CSR contributions by donating free, pre-programmes SmartButtons. Check out Smart Button's presentation here and their pitch video here.

NVPC Social Challenge - Honourable Mention

Team SingaReach

Game & rewards points platform to encourage intergenerational engagement and volunteerism between Youths & Seniors. Check out their pitch video here.

Care Pack Wellbeing Challenge - Winner

Team EyeRise

70% of falls for seniors occur in the home, often resulting in loss of mobility and independence. EyeRise is a home sensor system designed to prevent falls that occur when seniors wake up in the middle of the night. The system uses low-cost Mobile and Sensor technology and Neural Networks to detect when a senior rises and automatically turns on nearby appliances to increase awareness and create a safer environment (eg. lights, music, etc). Check out their pitch video here.

Care Pack Wellbeing Challenge - Runner up

Team SoundEye

A non-intrusive emergency monitoring system that uses low-cost smartphones and sound-event classification technology to detect elderly screams for help. SoundEye triggers an alert to a caregiver's smartphone; the caregiver can listen to an audio playback of the triggering sound and determine the most appropriate action (e.g. calling the senior, for an ambulance, etc.) Check out their pitch video here.

Team Avtaar

A mobile phone app that fosters active lifestyles through a Home screen virtual pet that is nutured through physical activities. Avtaar uses an smartphone activity tracker to detect activities like stretching, endurance, balancing and motivates seniors to do these activities regularly by leveraging their emotional connection with and desire to nuture their virtual pet. Check out Avtaar's presentation here

Team Keep in Touch

A mobile phone app that helps busy individuals stay in regular contact with family members by sending message/call reminders based on pre-set frequencys. The app also indicates if a family member is nearby and for a possible meet up. Check out the Keep in Touch presentation here

Team Jio Me

A smartphone app that helps companies tap on the skills and stay in touch with their retired colleagues by initiating both work tasks and social activities. Check out Jio Me's presentation here

Team Listen.sg

An app that allow seniors to post messages that trigger key words-related content to be pushed to seniors.


Using smartphone to track movement and activity

Team Staples

A mobile phone app that preserves local heritage by capturing traditions how-tos from seniors for younger generations to refer to.

Team Challenge Us

A mobile phone app that uses a points system to encourage youths to interact with seniors through game challenges.

Team A123

A smartphone interface that streamlines all functions to no more than 6-component buttons.

Team MK

A music playing game that helps maintain finger dexterity.

Team Lydia

A smartphone app that reduces emotional isolation by facilitating communication.

Copyright 2014 Newton Circus Pte Ltd