Our 11th Birthday Contest Winners – They’ve Captured Something Special

Catch up with Gilbert Ghazal of Prop Solutions and read about the surprising story behind the Phil & Joe digital twin

We didn’t want to grab our party hats alone. Recently, we asked Matterport customers – past, present, or pending – to tell us about their most celebratory experiences with digital twins. After all, this is their day too. We couldn’t have achieved so much, from the Bay Area to the farthest-flung corners of digital innovation, if we didn’t have the clients to push our technology forward where it matters. 

Gilbert Gazhal

Despite many great stories, one won out – that of Prop Solutions, a virtual tour agency for property, retail, culture venues, and other spaces in immaculate 4K. Digital twins allow Prop to walk people through stunning replicas of experiences they can’t get elsewhere. Gilbert Ghazal, founder, and managing partner, remembers a barbershop that deserved the limelight more than most. For a cut above the norm in customer engagement, he and his team knew just what to do. Read our discussion with Gilbert as we reflect on 11 years of Matterport.

Q: What inspired you to capture this space in 3D? 

Phil & Joe is a barber shop and retail store for the modern sophisticated man, built inside a stone house with a curved ceiling – a very unique and traditional structure here in Lebanon. It’s located on the Gemmayze Beirut, a vibrant and artistic street housing one of the oldest, prettiest buildings in the city.

This whole beautiful setup attracted me to try their service, take a closer look inside, and approach their management to tell them about the benefits of exposure, online presence, and digital archiving. I wanted everyone to see this place, no matter where they are in the world.

Q: What are the ‘must-sees’ you want visitors to explore, and why?

For interior design enthusiasts, backgammon lovers, and men in general, the whole place is a must-see. Retail sections display a large collection of backgammon, shaving tools, and premium handmade accessories that are imported and carefully selected to satisfy certain tastes.

Phil and Joe

Q: What’s the one thing you want visitors to take away after exploring your 3D tour? 

I want visitors to realize that 3D photography is finally affordable and easily accessible, especially for unique places like this. In my opinion, it’s a must-have, not only for their online presence and immersive experiences, but to preserve the space and create a digital twin they can keep forever.

Q: What are the benefits of Matterport digital twins? 

I’m very sad to say that this barbershop was destroyed by the Beirut port explosion back in August 2020 – an explosion that didn’t just level this place, but the whole city!

After waking up from this traumatic, near-death experience, Phil & Joe’s owners used the virtual tour as a reference to rebuild the place like it was, demonstrating a strong will to survive and move on while using technology as a weapon against destruction and vandalism. That’s one of the many benefits of a virtual tour, and we think that it’s the future of the insurance and restoration industry. We’re working on making it a standard practice in our market.

Phil Joe 2

Q: Do you have any plans to capture more 3D experiences? 

Definitely. Props Solutions has been in the market since 2017 and we continue to be the leaders in 3D tours across all industries. We also have a presence in the Gulf region – as well as Cyprus – in an effort to capture more spaces, create more experiences, and expand our library of virtual tours. 

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

Matterport technology is the most mature, reliable solution to provide as a service, and we’re proud to have been MSPs [Matterport Service Providers] for more than 5 years. We’re also excited to see what other features Matterport is planning to add, so we can expand our suite of services and products too.

Phil Joe 3


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