Imagine opening up an app and unlocking a world filled with animals as small as an ant to Jurassic-era giants like a Tyrannosaurus rex. The techies and visual artists behind Zookazam put their left and right brainpower together to create an educational technology platform that engages school-aged children using augmented reality. For Hypepotamus, CEO Marjan Yavari discusses how the award-winning app is creating new realities to knowledge about the Animal Kingdom.
What is Zookazam?
Zookazam is an award-winning Augmented Reality (AR) app targeted for the educational market. The app has won three Atlanta Mobile Marketing Organization awards and an “Academics Choice Award.” The categories awarded included, Best in Public Service, People’s Choice, Best in Atlanta, and Brain Toy. There are many AR apps out there, but Zookazam brings high-quality, photo-realistic content that is far ahead of the competition. With Zookazam, you don’t need an expensive head gear to experience high-quality AR and be blown away by the amazing attention to detail.
What issue are you solving?
Bringing high-quality AR content to mobile devices to capture the attention of students so that they will be more engaged to learn about animals. Current AR apps are too simple and cartoonish while high-end VR is too expensive and complicated to use. Zookazam solves this problem with a low-cost app that is fun to use and engages students.
What’s the market/industry impact?
Zookazam is being used in classrooms across the country and in overseas markets. Teachers love the attention-grabbing feature of Zookazam which is a powerful tool to in the classroom.
AR is the hottest trend in technology these days. It is discussed at all the tech expos as the future of learning. Zookazam has been developing mobile AR apps that are fun to use and easy to install on most mobile platforms with very low cost ($.99 download on the AppStore). Kids are attracted to the “wow feature,” but then get a chance to learn from visual infographics that are displayed right on top of the AR animals. The feature rich voice-over allows the student to take advantage of 2 levels of discovery, one which is designed for ages 4-8 and the advanced level which is designed for ages 8-12.
Many teachers are using Zookazam in their daily lesson plans to teach students important facts about animals, but also to test a student’s ability to retain statistics about each animal. The students are then encouraged to find creative ways to display and take pictures of their AR animals on textbooks and maps that are relevant to the species they are working on. This further enhances their learning and understanding of the lesson plan.
And your revenue model?
The current revenue model is selling $.99 app downloads. We have had thousands of paid downloads which help pay the bills, but the goal is to work with future schools to create custom-made apps to take Zookazam to the next level.
How’d you get the idea for it?
Zookazam was born from an idea to integrate AR content with collectible art toys. Once we started to create the AR content we decided to devote our efforts to create the best AR content available on the market.
Who are your competitors and how do you stand out?
None of our competitors have photo-realistic content with smooth animation. There are numerous other features that make Zookazam stand out, like the ability to use the app without the use of an AR marker, or the ability to record high-resolution video and sound with AR content, etc.
Zookazam has also resolved the problem of creating too many fat files which require huge amounts of downloaded data that takes up valuable memory space of users’ phones. Zookazam allows the user to experience AR content with feature rich infographics that is rarely seen on mobile phones. Mobile apps like Zookazam are a more affordable option to experience AR content as opposed to expensive headgear (i.e. Microsoft Hololens).
How does Atlanta weave into your story?
All four of our founders have lived in cities around the world – Paris, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto… but we now call Atlanta home. We love Atlanta for the fast pace growth of the tech industry and the ability to collaborate with a diverse community that is open to new ideas.
We are currently looking for 3D content creators and marketing administrators with a background in social media.