Just this weekend the Voices of VR Podcast reached an impressive milestone; in the podcast’s 1,000th episode, host Kent Bye looks back at his conversations with members of the VR industry over the last seven years to parse where the moderrn era of VR started, where it is now, and where it’s headed.

Kent Bye is officially prolific. Since 2014 he’s now published 1,000 episodes of the Voices of VR Podcast which has faithfully charted the modern era of VR by giving listeners a chance to hear directly from the people working to make VR a reality. That’s an average of roughly 2.5 episodes per week over the last seven years.

In every interview over those seven years, Bye has concluded each discussion with the same question for the guest: “What do you believe is the ultimate potential of virtual reality?”

The podcast’s 1,000th episode looks back on answers to that question over the last seven years, which make for an excellent view of the many different aspirations for the technology and how ideas about it have evolved over time.

Here’s how Bye says it all started in 2014:

The first Oculus Developer Kits (the Oculus DK1) were shipped in March of 2013, and I bought my DK1 on January 1, 2014. I attended the first professional conference during the Silicon Valley Virtual Reality conference on May 19 and 20th of 2014 where the excitement about the potentials of this new medium was palpable. I ended up recording 44 interviews over those two days because I wanted to capture what felt like a historical moment within the community of early adopters and innovators who would prove to become key figures in the development and continued evolution of what’s possible within the VR medium. I feel like I’ve been in a collaborative conversation with the broader VR community over the past 7 years helping to document the full range of applications, but to also tap into the more philosophical, ethical, and future dreaming potentials for where this could all go.

A “collaborative conversation” indeed; Voices of VR Podcast is unique in the way that Bye has focused on being as much of a listener in his interviews as he is a host. The result is a podcast which really captures the essence of its name and feels like a clear window into the minds of people ‘in the trenches’ of the VR industry.

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Bye is the sole creator of the Voices of VR Podcast which is supported by listeners through Patreon.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • 3872Orcs

    Great podcast! The only other one I know of that has kept up since the very early days is EnterVR podcast, though he don’t post new episodes nearly as frequently. And I do miss the Left Handed VR podcast, oh the nostalgia!

  • I’m a big fan of Kent Bye’s early podcasts. When I started getting interested in VR he was the only one who really delved deep into the medium, exploring along with his guests the meaning of presence and embodiment, and guiding practitioners into making the most of the technology. For me the shift towards his “Elemental theory of presence” marked a change which made the podcast more about Kent’s ideas and less about VR as a whole. Totally his prerogative but it kind of left me cold and I stopped listening after that seminal episode when he finally met Mel Slater and it became very apparent that they weren’t really on the same wave length after all. More recent investigations into privacy concerns are welcomed though. The man’s is definitely a great asset to the community.

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    • wheeler

      I also still listen but I have to admit that I skip most episodes nowadays. I’m not personally interested in the coverage of obscure VR art, though I think it’s certainly worthwhile to cover it.

      Unfortunately, with the shuttering of Research VR I’m left with no more worthwhile VR podcasts. Most of the others just regurgitate roadtovr/uploadvr content and/or provide rather coarse and dragging VR “Gamer Bro” reviews. Though “The AR Show” has interesting content from time to time.

      • Couldn’t agree more. Such a shame that as VR is growing, we have fewer and fewer people talking about it meaningfully.
        ‘Head Mounted Destinations’ can sometimes get quite interesting as it’s by two jobbing VR developers (a designer and a programmer) but sadly they often dumb things down a little too much for their audience.
        I’ll look out for the “The AR Show”. Thanks for the recommendation

        • wheeler

          I actually hadn’t heard of Head Mounted Destinations, I’ll check that out!

  • Kent is really amazing… kudos to him!