Early next month Meta, the company that used to be called Facebook, is opening a new store. Unusually for the online-focused company, its very first Meta Store will be a physical place. One where shoppers can go inside and test out all manner of the tech designed to keep them as online as possible.
The Meta Store will officially open on 9 May, at the company’s campus in Burlingame, California. Sarcasm aside, it’s not that different from the experience stores operated by everyone from Samsung to LG to Apple.
That’s very… Meta
Expect three main product lineups on showup. The Facebook Portal lineup will be present. The social network’s take on Google, Apple, and Amazon’s smart speakers, with a focus on communication, will have a demo area. Calls will be demonstrated, as well as something Meta called Story Time. Guess what that does.
Also part of the new store is the new Ray-Ban Stories hardware. If you somehow missed the boat on these, the Stories are a set of sunnies with the ability to report short 60-second clips of your definitely awesome life. These are uploaded to Facebook, once you’ve tweaked them in the Facebook View app.
Visitors may or may not be blown away by the preceding two items but the Oculus Quest 2 (now known as the Meta Quest 2) definitely will do the job. Even if you’re put out by the Facebook login requirement, the wireless VR headset is an absolute blast to experience.
Hopefully, visitors record friends and family trying out the VR hardware in the demo area. Meta’s store will feature a large display showing what those wearing the VR kit see. Capturing the physical reactions displayed by those using VR hardware for the first time is always fun. Occasionally destructive, but fun.
It’s possible that Meta has designs for a broader retail experience, but this isn’t confirmed yet. We (and they) will have to wait and see how popular the live-action Meta experience is before opening branches globally.