Social media brand Meta (formerly Facebook Company) will open the first permanent MetaStore where customers can purchase virtual reality products as a “gateway to the Metaverse.”
The 1,550-square-foot shop will open on May 9 in Burlingame, Calif., Near the company’s Reality Labs campus, a virtual reality product research and development hub.
Martin Gillard, Head of Metastore, said the shop shows how the brand’s products are the “gateway” to the Metaverse. This is a parallel virtual world where people act as avatars.
“The Metastore will help people connect with how our products will become the gateway to the Metaverse in the future,” he said.
At the shop, which is open from Monday to Friday, you can try out Oculus Quest 2, an updated version of the virtual reality headset Oculus Go, and play the game in a dedicated demo area.
A large floor-to-ceiling LED screen reflects what you see on your headset.
Meta’s video calling device Portal appears on a backlit wooden shelf on the main shop floor. Customers can try the portal in another demo area. You can also do a video hangout to a retail store employee to see the gadget in action.
Another cubicle with glass walls is reserved for Meta to choose a Ray-Ban story. This is a smart glass that allows the wearer to record video through the built-in 5MP camera. Visitors can experiment with different styles, colors and lens variations.
Unlike other products in Metastore, eyeglasses cannot be purchased over-the-counter. Customers must order directly from the website of Ray-Ban, a retailer of sunglasses.
Other accessories such as headphones, earphones and charging cables are also on display and can be purchased over-the-counter.
“We don’t sell Metaverse in our store, but hopefully people will come and go with a little more knowledge of how our products can help connect them to it.” Explained Gilead.
“When people experience technology, they can better understand it.”
Meta’s first physical store represents a move away from what the company calls a “social metaverse company” and its origins as a social media company. Last year, the brand name changed from Facebook to Meta.
Gilead also said the Burlingame store is showing further expansion into the Meta retail space.
“By setting up a store here in Burlingame, we have more opportunities to experiment and keep the customer experience at the center of development,” said Gilead. “What we have learned here will help us define our future retail strategy.”
Many brands are working on real Metaverse crossover products, including the shoe brand Giuseppe Zanotti, who released a digital version of the Cobra Strainer at Metaverse.
Design studio Layer recently announced smart glasses for tech company Viture, which allows users to play games and stream media via virtual screens.
The photo is courtesy of Meta.