It feels as though the major advent of virtual reality has been bubbling up to the surface for some time. Our guest today is Trent Clews-de Castella, cofounder of Phoria. He is here to give us a glimpse into the not-too-distant future and the potential impact of the VR space, as well as the adjacent technologies of augmented reality and mixed reality!

Phoria uses the latest technology in the field for therapeutic interventions to help individuals ease pain, anxiety, and drug use. They also aim to create sustained behavioral change for a variety of conservational causes! The company’s aim is to make a difference in the healthcare space as well, using VR experiences in the clinical trials framework to remove the need for anesthetic, an initiative we at Impact Everywhere find particularly inspiring. In this conversation with Trent, we get to hear about some important landmark events in the history of virtual reality technology, how a background in psychology has driven his recent work, and the centrality of user experiences in ensuring the success of projects. Trent and his team are certainly at the forefront of what is happening in the space, and the sheer amount of potential for changing lives is quite staggering. This is an episode you are not going to want to miss, so tune in (at any of the below links) to hear what he has to say!

Listen on Google Podcasts
Listen on Apple Podcasts

Key Points From This Episode:

New uses for VR

After giving a long-term cancer patient escape from the hospital with a VR headset, Trent launched Dream3d, a VR research initiative to look at different medical and therapeutic uses for the technology. They started working with experts to use VR similarly to nature, animal, or music therapy, but now it can be infinitely scaled. The research on what VR can actually do to help people psychologically in the long term is important if hospitals and other markets are going to buy into it in the future.

A difficult proposal that Trent has worked on and the challenges that were present:

WWF and Google approached Phoria regarding a series called “Our Planet.”

Emotional Impact: VR and the power of empathy.

By creating headsets that showcased pre-treatment hospital procedures, they were able to not only better prepare kids for their treatments (saving hospitals thousands of dollars) but also allowed parents and friends to empathize with the experience after they participated in the experience.

Trent’s Ask/Offer/Question for the World:

Ask: Looking for positive stories of humanity and nature coming together and thriving for a new series called Ecosphere. Feel free to share!

Offer: Would love to connect if anyone wants to get involved in the space

Question: What is the silver lining you’re seeing emerge from Covid19? And how can we harness this digital shift we’re undergoing and come out on the other end of this as evolved digital natives?


“I feel like 2019 was the tipping point for VR.” — Trent Clews-de Castella


“We see ourselves as extending consciousness in humans and allowing us to reach further.” — Trent Clews-de Castella@phoriatech[0:16:57]

“There has never been a better time to get into VR.” — Trent Clews-de Castella@phoriatech[0:47:03]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Benjamin Von Wong
Impact Everywhere
Trent Clews-de Castella on LinkedIn
Phoria on Twitter
Half-Life: Alyx
Tilt Brush
Our Planet

Coming Up Next:

Next episode we have serial entrepreneur Adrian Solgaard — who went from being a near-penniless couch-surfer to the CEO of a luggage company that removes 5lbs of plastic from the ocean for every product they sell.

What fascinated me the most, is that Adrian actually has a creative background — just like me — and it gave me hope that perhaps one day, I too could start something just a little bigger. Adrian drops a ton of wisdom in the 30 minutes that I chat with him, and I can’t wait to share it with you.