Meet Antony Vitillo (aka Skarred Ghost), Expert and Influencer in VR

Last week, iStaging had the pleasure of hosting virtual reality (VR) expert and blogger, Antony Vitillo, at our Taipei HQ. He attended the VR Visionaries event in Taiwan, and we caught the opportunity to invite him over for an exclusive discussion about virtual reality.

We talked about the state of the VR ecosystem and various applications for virtual tours. Antony was also delighted to take a sneak peek of iStaging’s forthcoming solutions and had the opportunity to take them for a test drive.

Equipped with tons of humor and unlimited knowledge about all things VR, we couldn’t wait to ask him questions. Behold, Antony’s words of wisdom:

Antony immersed himself in our virtual reality solutions Antony immersed himself in our virtual reality solutions

Q: Who is Antony Vitillo and how did you come across VR?

AV: Hello everyone I’m Antony Vitillo. I have a website called Skarred Ghost but I will not tell you why. I started in VR in 2014. My friends and I, we had a dream about new technologies and we had tried the Oculus Rift DK2. It was an amazing experience. I was in my office, then I found myself in a villa in Tuscany. I was super amazed. But after 5 minutes my stomach was saying choose the VR or me. I felt very nauseous. But I have chosen VR. When it comes virtual tours, the most common question that pops to mind is: “How in the world do I create one?” And that’s when most estate agents give up even before taking the first step.

Q: What has your VR journey been like?

AV: I had a start-up which you could use your entire body in VR. That eventually didn’t go that well.

In 2016, I started my blogging adventure with a blog called Ghost Howls. I started writing my opinions on VR, doing reviews, interviews etc. I thought only my mom would read them, but surprisingly some people started reading them. So, the blog started getting traction, and I started meeting awesome people. It’s still a hard job, but I love it. I also work as a VR and AR consultant.

Recently, I started an agency called “New Technology Walkers” and we just launched a fitness game where you can punch staff with the VIVE Focus Plus, which is called Hit Motion: Reloaded.

Q: So what’s your take on iStaging?

AV: I started using iStaging a month ago. We got the rotator and the lens. I was a little bit skeptical in the beginning, to be honest. When the rotator arrived, I had no idea how to use it. But I read the instructions on the website and afterwards it was pretty easy to set up. I was impressed because it was very fast and easy to use. I could use my smartphone and other useful functionalities such as annotations, pictures, floor plan. It’s quite a complete vr solution. We’ve started using iStaging for creating virtual tours as a service, so it’s something I believe is very well-made. Another feature that surprised me is TourRing, the possibility of connecting the buyer with the seller — it’s amazing. I have also had the opportunity to see a glimpse of the future of this platform and I’m very impressed. But I cannot tell you at the moment, you need to wait some months!

TourRing, our new virtual guided tour solution for connecting the seller to buyers TourRing, our new virtual guided tour solution for connecting the seller to buyers

Q: What’s your opinion on VR breaking into traditional industries such as real estate?

AV: I really believe in these technologies, and VR is able to disrupt any kind of sector. So I come from a country that is very traditional in terms of adapting to innovation. I experienced this when I started in 2014. People didn’t even know what VR was and they were very skeptical. When I showcased VR to them they were like: “Yeah, maybe it can be useful but I don’t know. I already have my tools etc.” It’s funny how they are coming back to me now because they have seen their competitors using it (VR). So my impression is VR can really disrupt many sectors, real estate being one of them.

Q: How about the future of VR and virtual tours?

AV: I would like to see virtual tours becoming the main channel of selling a house in the future and easier to shoot, for instance, what iStaging does. VR will be the mainstream. In the far future, I also envision that you’d be able to experience the sensation of being in a house. For example, you’d be able to navigate, touch the objects, feel the breeze or even have a virtual sleepover. It’s an idea for the far away future, but it’s where we are heading. It will be gradual. So we’ve started with 2D tours, after 3D, then they will become interactive, later we will have other senses. And the more we are moving on, the more we will see virtual tours becoming the standard means to sell a house.

With his vision of a prosperous future in VR, Antony believes that industry winners will be those who adopt these technologies. Those who capitalize on the opportunities that VR brings will move ahead as fast as the laggards are quickly left behind.