Gamify Your Life: Meet Krystal Kunyue Zheng

Tech in miami

 

I was thrilled to have a chance to sit down for a chat with Krystal Kunyue Zheng, Founder and CEO of Miami based technology company ARVISL Future. Krystal is working on an augmented reality app called SAVR which aims to merge marketing and amusement, by gamifying our everyday lives. Chatting with her was an incredible opportunity. Here’s what she had to say about tech in Miami, and her new project.

Thank you so much for sitting down with me, Krystal! Can you tell us a little about your life growing up, and how it helped shape who you’ve become today? 

“I have always been a gamer, not like other girls with dolls, I loved video games.” 


My first encounter with video games was when I was 5 with a Chinese RPG game. The game inspired me to see how people can live their lives as a journey. In the game, once you complete a quest you simply move on to the next thing. It fascinates me how we can really see our lives as a journey and a game. This is the reason why I want to gamify our lives. 

So I guess I should ask first, what is SAVR? Is it an app, a video game, or both? 

SAVR is the next generation of a mobile game and a marketing tool. For users and players, it is a fun virtual scavenger hunt using real life locations with augmented reality features. For businesses, it is a powerful marketing tool to drive real foot traffic that is measurable and engageable. So yes, I would say SAVR is kind of both. It is a game that has real life value, but also a mobile application that is fun and habit forming. 

We see SAVR as a true lifestyle of the future. Especially now, Generation Zs and Ys and even millennials are not viewing our world as only digital or real, but more of a merged “Pokemon Go” situation. This is exactly what we are going for. Similar to Pokemon Go, but with real life experiences.

How did you first get started in video game or app development?

I never thought I would develop an app or even a game. But I saw a problem, and an opportunity. At the time I was working for Synkt Games, a tech startup based at CIC with a fantasy sports app.The problem I saw was with traditional digital marketing and brick and mortar stores. I noticed how physical stores try to use digital marketing and guess the conversion rate. I thought there has to be a way of connecting the current gap we have between online traffic to foot traffic. With my experience playing Pokemon Go and other location based games, I thought this will be the solution. What we are creating is the solution to bridge the gap from online to offline. 

What are your all-time favorite games that inspire or influence your projects? 

I can easily get addicted to video games, so instead of describing myself as a hardcore gamer which I could be, I would rather say I am a casual player with hardcore tastes. I like open world role play MMOs (massive multiplayer online games). My all time favorite is Blade and Soul, but many of the games I have played have inspired me on how I’m crafting out the SAVR experience. I want everyone to have a chance to experience a gamified real life with SAVR, gamer or not. My goal is to make gamification features that everyone will enjoy. 

Can you give us more details about SAVR? Regarding the activities a user will do in the app, the actions or events it will have and how users will act and be engaged in the app?

“The digital coins can be used in game and at our partnered business locations as cash!”

SAVR is a real life scavenger hunt game with augmented reality features. Users will collect digital coins and treasure boxes at different real life locations. The digital coins can be used in game and at our partnered business locations as cash! The treasure boxes users collect will contain different real life incentives offered by businesses. All these incentives will be displayed in the app using augmented reality technology, and players can “catch them” similar to the behavior of catching Pokemon in their game. Once a user collects a treasure box, they will be navigated to the location to redeem it.

Sounds very cool! I can’t wait to play. What sparked your interest in augmented reality?

Once I decided to create a tool to help drive foot traffic, I saw augmented reality as an appealing way to show the incentives other than an image like what we currently have on websites. Augmented reality is the perfect technology to demonstrate what I want to display and it is also easy and convenient to work with on a mobile device.

How much am I going to have to shell out to play SAVR or use it as a business owner?

SAVR is free to play, and free for businesses to use. There are premium options with a monthly subscription fee for users to receive exclusive offers and services. We will have virtual items that users can purchase only based on their interests, and we will charge a performance-based campaign fee for each instance of foot traffic we generate. So for businesses, it’s based on cost per traffic™.

Well we will certainly be keeping a close eye on Krystal Kunyue Zheng, and her company ARVISL Future. Her game SAVR is slated for release in January 2019 in Miami. Thank you so much Krystal for taking the time to talk with me about SAVR, I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with next!

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SAVR is slated to be officially released for use in Miami starting January 2019. It is currently in its final testing phase and will be available on iOS first followed by Android. People can apply to be in their December closed beta testing by completing this form as a user: sign up form, and here as a business sign up.


Click to find out more information about SAVR and ARVISL future  and follow them on Instagram to stay in the loop!

 

Photo courtesy @savr_app


Josh Bristol

Joshua Bristol is an active member of the Miami arts scene, holds a bachelor's in philosophy, and teaches a monthly writing workshop. He loves getting out there and discovering this great city. E-mail him at lanstar.804@gmail.com

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