Despite committing literally billions to the development of the metaverse, Meta (formerly Facebook) are acutely aware that in order to justify the hassle, they’re going need millions (and ideally billions) of users to step inside.
And with the metaverse so reliant on – read: bogged down by – abstract concepts such as ‘shopping in the metaverse’, ‘working in the metaverse’ and – let’s face it – ‘virtual reality in general’ there’s quite the uphill battle ahead in getting Joe Average to even understand what all this is (or rather, soon will be) about.
So it’s highly admirable that Meta are going the hardcore, real-world route and are opening their first Meta Store. Yes, just as Apple tentatively pulled the trigger on their first ever Apple Store in Virginia in 2001 as the only sure-fire way to spell out what made Apple different and just as Microsoft admitted failure and shuttered its last batch of 82 shop bodges in 2020, so Meta is getting into the retail space.
And they’re doing it sooner than you think.
Opens 9th May 2022
The first Meta Store opens as soon as May 9th 2022 upon the Meta campus in Burlingame, California, USA, being “a retail space to discover Portal, Ray-Ban Stories and Quest 2 and try them out in person”.
Clearly the feeling is that once you’ve tasted making video calls on Portal (their privacy-worrying iPad-wannabe home spy) worn Ray-Ban Stories (their Google Glass-like hook-up with the world’s biggest shade co.), and seen how Quest 2 (their stunningly affordable and popular VR entry point) is way better than you’d ever presumed, then you’re not going to want to leave the store… Or the metaverse for that matter.
“Once people experience the technology, they can gain a better appreciation for it. If we did our job right, people should leave and tell their friends, ‘You’ve got to go check out the Meta Store.’” says Martin Gilliard, Head of Meta Store
The store will be packed with kit, experts on hand to show you around, and lots and lots of space to explore VR to your heart’s content without bumping into each other or falling downstairs.
In fact the Quest 2 demo area features a huge, room-high curved screen that shows friends and passers by exactly why you’re flailing your arms around. Plus you’ll even get a “30-second mixed reality clip of your demo experience” that you can send to Grandma afterwards.
“What we learn here will help define our future retail strategy.” continues Gilliard. “Ultimately, our goal with the Meta Store is to show people what’s possible with our products today, while giving a glimpse into the future as the metaverse comes to life — and hopefully demystifying that concept a bit in the process.”
Plus a new online store too
Plus Meta are also defusticating the process of buying Portal, Ray-Ban Stories and Quest online via a new, simple ‘Shop’ tab on meta.com.
“We’re not selling the metaverse in our store, but hopefully people will come in and walk out knowing a little bit more about how our products will help connect them to it,” adds Gilliard.
The new store – perhaps the first of many – will be open Monday through Friday from 11:00AM to 6:00PM PT and is located at 322 Airport Blvd in Burlingame, California.
See you there.