Facebook holding company Meta is opening its first physical store: consumers will soon be able to buy VR glasses and try out metaverse technology at its own Silicon Valley campus.
Paying Meta a visit
Want to try out a VR headset or Ray-Ban’s smart AR sunglasses? From 9 May, you can do it at Meta itself: the parent company of Facebook is opening a small shop at its own tech campus in Burlingame, California. Consumers in the Silicon Valley region can go there for all kinds of VR hardware and demos.
The store’s main goal is to familiarise consumers with new technology, for example by allowing visitors to make video calls to shop staff or teach people how to use Ray-Ban Stories connected sunglasses. Or they can play a virtual round of golf or go fishing. A wall-to-wall curved LED screen allows bystanders to follow along. Afterwards, anyone who wants to can get a 30-second clip to share… on social media, of course.
“We want you to feel it”
Meta would not be Meta if it were not also intended to learn from consumers. Located on its company campus, employees can study how people interact with the technology. “At the Meta Store, we want you to interact with everything. We want you to pick stuff up. We want you to feel it,” says Martin Gilliard, head of the Meta Store. “Having the store here in Burlingame gives us more opportunity to experiment and keep the customer experience core to our development. What we learn here will help define our future retail strategy.”
At 144 sqm, the shop is rather on the small side, but that should be enough to give people a taste of what the metaverse could bring. Buying things online will also become easier: Meta is simultaneously launching a new Shop tab on its website where all hardware can be ordered centrally.