Meta, Facebook’s parent company, is coming up with its first physical store in Burlingame, California, which is set to launch on May 9. The platform gave an early glimpse of the store where we see a floor-to-ceiling screen for the customers to experience games on its virtual reality headsets. The store also features rooms for testing video calling devices.
The store is located on the main campus for Meta’s Reality Labs unit, and the unit will be developing hardware products that will be available for sale in the store. The range of products includes total video calling devices, Oculus VR headsets and Ray-Ban smart glasses too.
The story follows a very minimalist decor and looks quite aesthetic with blonde wood. It is somewhat similar to the style featured in the initial Apple retail stores when it launched more than two decades ago.
One of the world’s largest social media companies, Meta, has invested a massive amount in virtual and augmented reality to build and help in the growth of immersive, shared virtual spaces, also known as “metaverse”. What was primarily considered a theoretical future business for Meta, it seems the opening of the first physical store is slowly making it a reality.
According to Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, metaverse has the chance of becoming the next big computing platform in the world. However, he also said that it might take almost a decade for the company’s bets to succeed.
Meanwhile, with slow growth and dependency on digital ads for revenue, Meta is trying to cut down on some long-term investments. Apart from promoting its hardware devices to the consumers, the company is trying hard to pitch them to businesses. A demonstration at the store portrayed a mix of traditional video calling and virtual reality avatars in conference calls.
Micah Collins, director of product management, said that the company is working on an augmented reality technology where users will be able to join conferences and avatars via Portal without even using headsets. He further said that even though many products are still at a very early stage, they still feel confident as they have enough to attack the space.