Meta announced today plans to open its first ever retail store to give customers a chance to check out the company’s hardware in person. The store will include a dedicated Quest 2 demo area and send participants home with a short mixed reality video to remember their experience.

Meta may only have three physical product lines at present, but that’s not stopping the company from opening its first retail store in Burlingame, CA come May 9th.

The store will allow customers to get their hands on Meta’s Portal, Ray-Ban Stories, and Quest 2 products, though it seems VR may be the thrust of the store’s concept as a significant portion of the relatively small footprint is dedicated to a Quest 2 demo area which includes a huge LED wall that shows observers what’s happening in the headset.

Image courtesy Meta

“The best way to understand virtual reality is to experience it. At the new Meta Store, anyone can demo popular apps on Quest 2 and project what you’re experiencing onto a big wall for your friends to see,” says Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “You can also try our other products like Ray-Ban Stories and Portal, and get a sense of what’s coming as we build towards the metaverse.”

The Quest 2 demo area won’t just show what’s happening in the headset on the wall; Meta says the setup will capture short mixed reality clips showing the participant inserted into the VR experience, and they’ll get to take the clip home with them to share.

Image courtesy Meta

Meta’s Head of Store, Martin Gilliard, says the company wanted to place its first store close to the HQ of Meta Reality Labs—where much of the company’s hardware development happens—so that it can ensure observations about the way people are using its products can easily find their way back into the organization.

“Having the store here in Burlingame gives us more opportunity to experiment and keep the customer experience core to our development,” Gilliard says. “What we learn here will help define our future retail strategy.”

In its announcement, Meta called the new store its “first,” implying there will be more to come in the future.

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  • sfmike

    I don’t see these lasting very long as there is no way these are going to be profitable and will just piss off the board and investors to the point of hurting VR going forward. VR is in a doldrum right now and needs a technological boost before it goes the way of 3DTV.

  • Ragbone

    I wish shops let you try all the headsets. Just like they used to let you play all the consoles in the good old days when shops were fun.

    • sfmike

      Back three years ago when Microsoft had a showplace of their tech in a Northern California upscale mall they had a large display of a row of VR headsets on display hooked to computers but none of them were available to try out. Predatory capitalist corporations only know how to shoot themselves in the foot and then say that customers weren’t interested in their products. Maybe it was pre-planned sabotage to get rid of low profit making tech.

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