New Burlingame retail space to provide demo opportunities for Quest 2, Portal, and Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses

hardware, augmented reality (ar), channelpro, microsoft

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Facebook owner Meta Platforms is to open its first physical store, which will allow customers to explore the company’s range of virtual reality headsets and peripherals.

The move forms part of the firm’s plans to drive its ‘metaverse’ concept and will provide a space for shoppers to try out products such as its Quest 2 VR headset, video calling solution Portal, and the Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses.

Opening its doors to the public on May 9, the 1,550-square feet Meta Store will be situated at the company’s Burlingame campus in California.

Meta said its goal with the store is to show people what’s possible with its products, serving up a “glimpse into the future” as it brings its metaverse concept to life – while also “demystifying” a few things about the virtual space.

“The Meta Store is going to help people make that connection to how our products can be the gateway to the metaverse in the future,” commented Martin Gilliard, Head of Meta Store.

“We’re not selling the metaverse in our store, but hopefully people will come in and walk out knowing a little bit more about how our products will help connect them to it.”

Through interactive demos, shoppers can try out video calling through Portal, learn more about Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses, as well as explore the store’s Quest 2 accessories and demos – which will feature Beat Saber, GOLF+, Real VR Fishing and Supernatural.

To go alongside this physical space, Meta has also introduced a new Shop tab on its online store for speedier access to its products.

The move follows in the footsteps of tech giants such as Apple, Google and Microsoft, who have all previously introduced physical stores to show off their products.

However, not all these ventures have stood the test of time. Back in 2020, Microsoft announced it would be closing every one of its physical stores permanently in the wake of the global lockdown measures, with staff moving to remote working to provide customers with sales, training, and support.

That decision affected 70 stores across the US, as well as overseas outlets in the UK, Australia, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

As for Meta, the ambitious company appears confident that its new Burlingame store will successfully provide a space to fuel interest in its metaverse concept.

“Once people experience the technology, they can gain a better appreciation for it,” Gilliard said. “If we did our job right, people should leave and tell their friends, ‘You’ve got to go check out the Meta Store.’”

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