Meta, the company that owns Facebookopened its first physical store in Burlingame, California, to showcase products such as augmented reality glasses and headsets.
The store, which opened to the public starting Monday, is made for people who want to try products like Ray-Ban Stories, Meta’s augmented reality eyeglasses and sunglasses, as well as the gadget for Portal video calls and Oculus virtual reality headsets.
Customers will have to order the glasses from Ray-Ban, but can purchase the other products in-store.
“It’s a very concrete step to distance ourselves from social networks and ads that mislead people, and elections, espionage, data and all that stuff; to a very physical representation of clean, elegant, well-designed hardware and cool that makes you feel good,” he said. Omar Aktardirector of research at Altimeter, a technology investment firm.
He added that he “didn’t believe in virtual reality” until he sat down and tried an Oculus headset for the first time, And he thinks the same thing will happen to other people who can put on the goggles and try them out. Apple pioneered physical stores in Silicon Valley and Meta, which owns Instagram and Facebook probably hopes to replicate at least some of that success.
“The truth is that physical things have never disappeared and will never disappear,” Akhtar noted. “Everyone realizes that even if we’re going to go digital, we’re going to need to access it with hardware.”