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Meta previews first physical store for AR, VR products

Facebook parent Meta Platforms has unveiled its first physical store, designed to sell accessories and promote the company’s vision for a metaverse. The store features a floor-to-ceiling screen to show off games on its virtual reality headsets, as well as rooms to test their metaverse-based video calling devices.

The store is set to open to the public next week on May 9th, and is in Meta’s Reality Labs headquarters in Burlingame, California. Reality Labs is focussed on creating products such as Ray-Ban smart glasses, Portal video-calling devices and Oculus VR headsets.

This store is the first tangible development in Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to pivot the social media giant towards a metaverse-focussed future. Zuckerberg believes that it will be the future of the company, but has also said that it may take up to a decade for this vision to come to fruition. He renamed Facebook to Meta late last year to dedicate the company to its new goal.

The store will not only be used as a physical space to sell to everyday customers on the metaverse, but also as a proving ground for B2B sales. The store reportedly gave a demonstration of a conference call feature that can mix metaverse virtual reality avatars and traditional video calling.

However, Meta acknowledged that these applications were still nascent, with a spokesperson saying that the most usage of Horizon Workrooms, the company’s VR conferencing technology, comes from Meta employees.

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