A Podcast to Inspire You Discover the Deepest Gift You can Bring into the World

As XR developers and content creators, part of our job is to keep informed and up to date with what is happening in the industry, and to keep on educating ourselves and expanding our knowledge with the best and most reliable mediums.

Voices of VR is a well known podcast among the VR culture that provides informational material about a variety of topics related to XR. We reached out to the person who started it all to learn about its humble beginnings, and with the goal to inspire all those who are in the difficult but rewarding road to make an idea a significant success.

We hope you enjoy this interview.

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"My name is Kent By, and since May 2014 I've traveled to the top VR gatherings around the world and conducted over 800 Voices of VR podcast interviews featuring the pioneering game developers, enthusiasts and technologists driving the resurgence of virtual reality. I combine my background in art and science to distill the diverse thoughts and impressions of leading immersive technology visionaries, creators, and academics, and provides a holistic look at the future of virtual reality told by the people who are making it. I've also conducted over 90 interviews about Artificial Intelligence for my podcast The Voices of AI, and another 35 interviews investigating the patterns of base reality through the lens of math and philosophy. You can follow my latest thoughts about VR on Twitter @kentbye "

What made you create Voices of VR?

- I had an intuition that virtual reality was going to be a revolutionary new communications medium, and so I started capturing an ongoing oral history and vibrant dialogue with makers talking about their insights and discoveries. I started the Voices of VR podcast at the Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference in May 2014. It was the first consumer VR conference of this modern resurgence of VR, and I've since attended over 50 different VR events around the world to capture over 800 interviews with VR pioneers and experiential designers.

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A driving motivation for me has been that I wanted to become an experiential designer myself, and so I've always approached interviews about VR from a perspective of chasing my own curiosity in learning about the details of emerging technologies in order to better understand their unique affordances. I've also become quite fascinated by the transformational potential of VR when it comes to philosophical paradigms and the cultural implications of moving from the "Information Age" to the "Experiential Age." The more that I study about VR, the more I learn about the underlying patterns of the human experience.

Tell us about a lesson learned and your best moment of success.

- The biggest lesson learned is that in order to become an experiential designer, then you have to start to have a framework for understanding the underlying essence of reality. For me, my Elemental Theory of Presence is a framework that I use that was inspired by using the elements from Natural Philosophy in order to describe the different qualities of an experience. Any experience in real reality or virtual reality is comprised of the air element (mental and social presence), fire element (active presence), earth element (embodied & environmental presence), and water element (emotional presence). All of these elements of presence are ingredients that can be combined to create different qualities of experiences.

The biggest success has been to be able to foster a reflective dialogue within the larger VR community talking about the deeper design principles and issues of concern. I'm grateful for the hundreds of experiential designers and pioneers who have taken the time to chat with me over the years, and for their generousity in sharing their knowledge with the wider VR community. In addition, I'm completely supported by my fans, and so please  consider becoming one of my Patreon supporters so that I can continue this epic adventure at https://patreon.com/voicesofvr!

What do you enjoy the most about Voices of VR?

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- The thing that I enjoy the most is traveling around the world and discovering new experiences that have never been done before. I'm really interested in what the artists, storytellers, and consciousness hackers create in order to push the limits of what's possible with this medium. I also appreciate how cross-disciplinary virtual and augmented reality is, which allows me to expand my curiosity in covering just about any immersive experience or domain which talks about the human experience ranging from neuroscientists to technologists to immersive theater performers to philosophers.

The deeper that I dig into VR, the more I'm talking about model that describe base reality, and so I'll be spinning off a couple of other podcasts about artificial intelligence with the Voices of AI as well as another podcast about Math and Philosophy that will be about exploring the deepest patterns for creating models of reality.

Ultimately, I hope that between VR, AI, Math, and Philosophy that we might be able to come up with some more robust experiential design frameworks for this new Experiential Age, and perhaps even formulate some philosophies about the nature of consciousness.

How do you plan to change the world?

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- With all of my work, I hope to inspire a sense of awe and wonder about how we can each discover our deepest gifts that we are meant to bring into the world. Through talking with over a thousand experts over the years, I'm starting to piece together some of the deeper patterns that are underlying our experiences, and I'm hoping that the discipline of experiential design can cultivate a sense of mindful awareness that allows us to become more present to the magic of the deep mysteries of our lives.

The more that we become present in VR, the more that we become present to ourselves, to each other, to the world, and the cosmos. After we fully transition in to the Experiential Age, I expect that we'll then want to start having Transformational Experiences that are personally deeply meaningful, that help us to understand ourselves better, and allow us to heal from our individual and collective traumas.

There is a limitless potential for immersive technologies to unlock new potentials of storytelling, education, communications, design, medicine, empathy, and expanding the limits of our human potential. I feel honored to be able to be a conduit of insight into the minds of so many brilliant pioneers pushing limits of what's possible with VR, AR, AI, and the underlying mathematical and philosophical models of base reality. In chasing my own sense of awe and wonder of the mysteries of the universe and our place in it, I hope to inspire other people to create meaningful experiences that will help make the world a better place for us all.