“We’re doing a program about bringing the Obama portraits to the metaverse. We will have as our special guest, the first black woman to ever be selected to paint presidential portraits, Amy Sherald. The big issue with VR and the metaverse is, what will students see? So we make sure that we have over 100 plus virtual field trips that are as diverse as our students.”
— Kai Frazier, Founder and CEO of Kai XR
In this episode
Catch up with SheEO Venture Kai XR! Founder Kai Frazier shares some exciting news about an upcoming event with artist Amy Sherald, updates on the Venture, and stories on how they’re doing things differently as a teacher-created, web XR platform.
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The podcast is being transcribed by Otter.ai. (there may be errors, run-on sentences and misspellings).
Kai Frazier 0:00
We’re doing a program about bringing the Obama portraits to the metaverse. We will have as our special guest, the first black woman to ever be selected to paint presidential portraits, Amy Sherald. So we’ll be talking about the portrait, more about who she is and why is it important to bring diverse stories such as this to the metaverse.
Vicki Saunders 0:26
Welcome in to the SheEO.World podcast. Today’s episode is a quick update from a SheEO Venture as they continue their work on the World’s To-Do List.
Steph Oey 0:40
Hi Kai, it’s great to see you. So excited to have you join us here on the podcast today.
Kai Frazier 0:44
Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
Steph Oey 0:46
So I want to jump into some exciting updates that you have to share. Before we do that, could you give us a quick overview of who you are and what you do?
Kai Frazier 0:54
My name is Kai Frazier, and I am the founder and CEO of Kai XR. Kai XR are provide safe pathways to the metaverse for students, and we do so by supporting our educators. We give them curriculum support, kid friendly content, and more so they can confidently bring the metaverse to their worlds.
Steph Oey 1:12
Amazing. So tell us a bit about this event that you have coming up.
Kai Frazier 1:16
Sure. I am super excited about our event that we’re having on Wednesday, February 16, at 3pm PST, 6pm EST, and we are hosting — we’re doing a program about bringing the Obama portraits to the metaverse. The reason why this is such a big deal is because this program we will have as our special guests, the first black woman to ever be selected to paint presidential portraits, Amy Sherald, and we’ll be talking about her portrait of Michelle Obama. So we’ll be talking about the portrait, more about who she is, and why is it important to bring diverse stories such as this to the metaverse. So one of the cool things that we did a couple years ago is we filmed the official Obama portraits in virtual reality. We are taking that up one step and this year we are bringing not only the Obama portraits but also more of Amy Sherald’s work to the metaverse. So our customers will be able to view that virtual field trip, and then also they’ll see our metaverse space that we’ve created for the event that really takes you through. You can participate as avatars, you can walk through, and you can see several of the portraits including the Michelle Obama portrait that you’ll see over here, but also some other notable Amy Sherald portraits like her portrait from Vanity Fair of Breonna Taylor. This is on the cover of magazines last year that she did. So like I said, this metaverse space, we call these are metaverse classrooms. They hold lots of her art here. So kids can explore in an interactive way while getting acclimated to 360 technologies and the metaverse. The other cool thing is this could be viewed in VR too with a VR headset. So we’re super excited to talk more about our virtual field trip. And in addition, our metaverse classroom.
Steph Oey 3:10
Amazing, so excited for this. And so going back to your Venture for a second, I would love it if you could share a bit about what you’re doing differently at Kai XR and how you’re centering access and inclusion.
Kai Frazier 3:21
Of course, of course, so Kai XR is different at the very core because we are a teacher created platform for our students. And you see that in every product decision of our company. Our mission at Kai XR is to expose students to global educational opportunities. And we’re doing that because they can improve their 21st century skills by having access to emerging tech, and that prepares them for a highly technical future. But my reality as a teacher is who gets that access. I work mostly in Title One schools and students who were left behind in the digital divide. So for that reason, Kai XR is an extremely accessible and diverse platform. What that means is we are a web XR platform, meaning that we work on any device. So if you’re a classroom teacher, and you have 30 kids and you don’t have the latest and greatest technology, you can use Kai XR on smartphone, you can use us on a tablet, or even on a VR headset. When it comes down to Wi Fi and connectivity. You can use Kai with cell phones—Kai XR for cell phone signal, you can use it with a 5G hotspot, and that’s to make sure that, a lot of our schools, they may not have Wi Fi and that’s just the reality. So does that mean that the kids don’t have access to tech because their school lacks Wi Fi? Of course not. So we make sure that our platform works on all scenarios, any connectivity, any Wi Fi issues. And then the big issue with VR and the metaverse is what will students see? So we make sure that we have over 100 plus virtual field trips that are as diverse as our students, so Kai XR is a bit different from our competitors that we once again, our web based platform, no app or download need it. And we make sure that our content is rooted in culturally relevant content for our students.
Steph Oey 5:15
Sounds like you’re getting some incredible disruption in the space.
Kai Frazier 5:18
We try, we try.
Steph Oey 5:20
Do you have any stories that you’d like to share? Standout moments from folks you’ve worked with that have really impacted you?
Kai Frazier 5:26
Yeah, I have a couple of moments that, you know, I am a middle school history teacher by trade, I get students I’m I see every single year and very similar. And some of the cool things about Kai XR, I’ve gotten to go into communities that may not necessarily be in my classroom on a Monday morning. I will say, I’ll give you two short impact stories. One is the first time that we actually brought Kai XR to a school where students had different learning challenges, different disabilities and things like that. We worked with some kids who had cerebral palsy and limited mobility, because our platform is so accessible. And we really specialize in 360 content, meaning you can look your head up, up, down, left and right, and not so much hand tracking hand movement. So because we have a 360 platform, we were able to use our content was students who were wheelchair bound, and couldn’t do a lot of movement, if they were to hold hand controllers or things. So we were able to see some of our educators hold the headsets to the students in the wheelchair and kind of turn them around in a circle. So they could see brand new worlds brought to them. And what I remember most a lot of educators reacting just saying like, Oh, my goodness, he’s smiling and things like that just reactions that these students never really had, because they didn’t have technology that worked for them in their unique situations. Right now, we’re really excited to be working with a juvenile detention center, which really doesn’t get emerging tech and has a lot of connectivity issues. But we’ve been doing an intro to the metaverse courses where kids can learn about AR VR and other emerging tech and then they can start making their Metaverse creations in our Metaverse maker space. And we’re seeing kids who never knew about VR, now inquiring about careers in the metaverse. And for us, our best case scenario is that when we leave that institution, we leave that classroom, that they’re still asking questions about, you know, the metaverse and emerging techs, and we make sure we have the resources for those educators to keep the conversations going. The last thing I’ll say to just talking about impact is that, you know, we made this company for all the students that we taught. So I would say one of the biggest impact things I didn’t anticipate is all my students who are watching and learning and knowing that they can make companies. So my youngest group of students, they’re about 21, 22, my oldest group is students, they’re in their lower 30s. So they get to see this a really great example of what it takes to explore an idea, dream up a crazy solution and actually create it. So that’s one thing that I sometimes overlook, because I forgot that they’re watching, and I really love seeing those stories of impact as well.
Steph Oey 8:19
Beautiful. Do you have an ask for the community?
Kai Frazier 8:22
Of course, I always say ready for my ask. So at Kai XR are we are in the exciting scaling portion of our journey. And we’re learning so much about our customers and our product. So I always ask, if you know somebody who’s interested in bringing Kai XR’s emerging techs to their world, please, we would love an introduction. We primarily work with schools, after school programs, libraries, as they’re trying to figure out how to transform their physical space. We have a lot of libraries that make metaverse nooks and things like that are just programming for the community. So libraries, STEM, STEAM centers, technology centers, summer camps, rec centers, and also children’s hospitals. We’re really excited to start a pilot coming up with a children’s hospital in collaboration with T-Mobile. So once again, if you know schools after school programs, library, STEAM, STEM centers, summer camps, rec centers, and even children’s hospitals, please send us, send them our way so we can get them connected with Kai XR.
Steph Oey 9:20
Well, Kai, thank you so much again for your time, this event and everything you’re doing sounds so so incredible, and we’re grateful as always for your leadership in the space.
Kai Frazier 9:29
Thank you so much. I really appreciate the conversation.
Vicki Saunders 9:34
Thank you for listening to the SheEO.World podcast. Like, comment, subscribe and share this podcast with your friends. We invite you to join a global community of radically generous women and non-binary folks at SheEO.World.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai