Meta, Facebook’s Parent Company, Opens First Retail Store

Photo credit: Reuters

Facebook parent company Meta has opened its first ever physical store. 

The store in Burlingame, California, showcases its hardware products, such as virtual and augmented reality goggles and glasses. It is made for people who want to test out products like Ray-Ban Stories, Meta’s Augmented Reality glasses and sunglasses. Or the Portal video calling gadget, or the Oculus virtual reality headsets. 

Most products can be bought in the store, but not all of them. The Ray-Ban glasses have to be ordered from Ray-Ban — you can only try them on at Meta’s shop. 

Technology experts say that it’s a concrete step from Meta to move away from social media to a physical representation of hardware. Some say it’s an effort to redirect what people think about with Facebook — no longer thinking about advertisements that mislead people, elections, spying, data, and things like that, and instead being represented by clean, well-designed, cool technology. 

The store is tucked into the tech giant’s waterfront campus, so it is expected that mostly Meta employees will be the first customers, since foot traffic will not be as readily available. 

The showroom is described as a miniature Apple store with the chrome traded for blond wood and speckled marble. 

The most exciting part of the store is a demonstration area for the Oculus virtual reality headset Quest 2. Meta bought Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion. With the Quest 2, users can play virtual reality games, and a wall-sized video screen shows what is happening inside the headset. 

The showroom also has test-driving for Portal, which is a video conferencing tablet released in 2018. It had a big moment in the early days of the Covid pandemic. 

The Ray-Ban Stories are described as slick sunglasses with a hidden camera and tiny speakers. 

The Quest headset is expected to be the main driver to the store. 

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