Introducing 2019 TOM Maker, Sing Le. We recently caught up with Sing to find out more about his experience participating in TOM: Melbourne’s Ballarat Makeathon, and what unique product he is currently developing.
Can you tell us a bit about your team’s prototype, the NatApp? Our Need-Knower was Jennifer and her daughter Natalie, who has a developmental disability and experiences difficulty with reading. Natalie and Jennifer came to TOM: Melbourne with a challenge to develop a solution which helped Natalie regain her independence while conducting everyday activities. Through discussions with Need-Knowers, including with Natalie's speech pathologist, we developed a greater understanding of how to best to design for Natalie and her specific need. In the end, we distilled the concept down to what we now call the ‘NatApp,’ which is a visual calendar showing the current time and day, and incorporates pictures to describe what Natalie needs to be doing now, later and throughout the day.
Would you participate in a TOM: Melbourne Makeathon again? Definitely! I think TOM: Melbourne is delivering a great initiative in helping underrepresented individuals and communities, who have specific challenges that the mass market has yet to reach.
Currently, our aim is to build out a working prototype of the NatApp for Natalie and her family to use. We're also adding more functionality to the app with the hope to eventually deploy it into the App Store to enable more people in similar situations to benefit from it. I think the Makeathon has been an intense but amazing experience, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to make a difference by participating!