Teen Creates App That Helps Those With Alzheimer’s Recognize Loved Ones

Emma Yang is not your typical teenager. As a child, she performed classical piano at Carnegie Hall – three times. She is fluent in three languages, and is learning two more. She started computer coding at six years of age, and at ten she beat out 400 teams from 60 countries to win first prize in the Technovation Challenge entrepreneurship competition. Now, at the ripe old age of 14, she has invented an app that will improve the lives of those with Alzheimer’s.

Named “Timeless“, the app uses facial recognition technology to help a person with Alzheimer’s remember loved ones. For example, a user can snap a photo of a person (or use an existing photo), and the app will immediately let the user know the person’s name, and that they are a brother, friend, neighbor, or other relation.

Timeless keeps an updated stream of photos with loved one’s identities tagged to them, and a contact list with photos attached. The app also has event reminders and assisted calling and texting, which helps prevent repeated calling if the user forgets that they dialed the same number very recently.

Photo: YouTube/CBS Evening News
Photo: YouTube/CBS Evening News

Emma was inspired to create Timeless when she was ten years old, after her beloved grandmother developed Alzheimer’s. Emma noticed that her grandma kept repeating the same questions, and that recalling information was difficult for her. She was determined to find a way to ease her grandma’s struggles, and her knowledge of coding gave her a way to help. Emma states, “One of the big things that I love about developing and coding is that it has really empowered me to do something to help her. Even if she is still declining, she can actually still stay connected to me.”

Photo: YouTube/CBS Evening News
Photo: YouTube/CBS Evening News

Emma is planning to launch Timeless in the summer of 2018, getting it into the hands of as many people with Alzheimer’s as possible. She says, with pride and hope, “It’s easy, it’s accessible, it’s really convenient, and I think that this can have the opportunity to help every single person with Alzheimer’s.”

We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this remarkable young woman!

Young people can do great things for people with Alzheimer’s, whether that’s new technology or simply helping out. Click “next” for a heartwarming example!


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