Customer Story: XR Libraries

VR integration comes with unique challenges, however–namely, content deployment and updates.
XR Libraries integrates virtual reality into schools and libraries.

Customer Story Overview

XR Libraries wants to change the way people use virtual reality. And they’re starting in one of the most significant, and maybe underutilized, public spaces: the library.

“Virtual reality is a way to explore concepts that are abstract,” says director of XR Libraries John MacLeod. “We’re not doing this for gaming.”

With a special emphasis on workforce development applications, environmental climate change, and gender inequity, XR Libraries has worked hard over the last four years to integrate VR into both libraries and schools.

VR integration comes with unique challenges, however–namely, content deployment and updates.

The Company

XR Libraries integrates virtual reality into schools and libraries.

The Challenge

Deploying VR content and making software updates without manual labor; scaling the program to include 1,000+ headsets.

The Solution

ArborXR allows XR Libraries to deploy and manage content remotely, saving them significant time. It also allows them to prepare to scale without needing to hire additional staff.

The Challenge

When XR Libraries received a grant from the Department of Labor to install 1,000 headsets in Nevada libraries, they were thrilled…and overwhelmed.

Deploying content onto headsets could require an enormous amount of manual labor. Initially, XR Libraries came up with the idea of using SD cards to load content onto the headsets.

“We were going to load 500 SD cards with the programs, send them to Las Vegas, and have someone there manually install the content onto the headsets,” says MacLeod. “If we updated the content, we would have to repeat the entire process.”

While deployment and updates represented significant challenges to time and logistics, the biggest downside was the lack of scalability.

“We’re looking to develop a scalable product,” explains MacLeod.

XR Libraries was particularly focused on a project in workforce development that would allow people to increase their income in a very short period of time. A remote 12-week dialysis technology technician certification program could be a game changer for people who otherwise couldn’t travel to get certified.

“One of the candidates for this program was a single mom with two kids in Northern Nevada, who ran the library in a community of 300 people,” says MacLeod. “She couldn’t go live in Vegas for 12 weeks.”

“She would need to learn remotely,” adds MacLeod.

To help them serve potential students, save time and labor on content management, and create a foundation for the future, XR Libraries turned to a longtime partner and friend––ArborXR.

The Solution

Having partnered with ArborXR’s predecessor company––SpringboardVR––on several projects, XR Libraries knew that the nascent ArborXR would be a perfect fit for the dialysis certification project.

“I called the team at Arbor XR and told them I really needed a content management system for all these headsets,” explains MacLeod.

The resulting partnership helped XR Libraries launch the program with ease–and speed.

“The easiest part of the whole process was using ArborXR to install the dialysis training content,” says MacLeod. “It actually took longer to update Pico (the library’s core operating system) than it did to use ArborXR.”

By allowing XR Libraries to provision multiple devices at once, install content remotely, and deliver updates, ArborXR ultimately saves them time and resources.

“Using ArborXR, two people are able to accomplish what would typically take four or five people to accomplish,” says MacLeod. “ArborXR reduces our expenditure of time and resources by about 60%.”

ArborXR also allows XR Libraries to gain insight into what’s going on in the system.

“ArborXR gives us a lot of different ways to get operational and logistical insight,” says MacLeod. “We get reports about what’s going on with the system as they integrate with the Nevada Public Library system.”

Most importantly, ArborXR helps the end-users succeed.

Speaking of the single mom of two, MacLeod says, “She took the whole program virtually, passed her certification, and now she's going on to become a registered nurse.”

Looking Ahead

By the end of 2022, XR Libraries plans to have 1,500 active headsets in the state of Nevada.

“There’s no way that we could do that humanly unless we had an entire team of people on it,” says MacLeod. “But ArborXR allows us to keep scaling without additional team members.”

But their partnership goes far beyond a single project; XR Libraries plans to utilize ArborXR for fulfilling their larger vision of becoming pioneers in virtual reality training and content creation.

“XR (VR) will transform the way we learn, communicate and explore careers and be seamlessly integrated into our daily lives,” says MacLeod. “We want to develop XR learning focused on health care, climate change, diversity and equity, and develop learning modules to train people to create XR content.”

To achieve those goals, XR Libraries will continue to rely on ArborXR for deploying and managing content with ease.

“Imagine distributing XR to schools and libraries with ArborXR,” says MacLeod. “It would be seamless.”

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