Meta opens its first physical store

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BURLINGAME, Calif. (AP) — Facebook parent Meta has opened its first physical store — in Burlingame, Calif. — to showcase its hardware products such as virtual and augmented reality goggles and goggles.

The store, which is open to the public from Monday, is geared towards people who want to test out products like Ray-Ban Stories, Meta’s AR eyewear and sunglasses, and the Portal video-calling gadget and Oculus virtual reality headsets.

Buyers still need to order the glasses from Ray-Ban but can purchase other products at the store.

“It’s a very concrete step away from social media and ads that mislead people, elections, espionage, data and all those things to a very physical representation of clean, sleek hardware. , well-designed and cool that makes you go, ah,” said Omar Akhtar, research director at Altimeter, a technology investment firm.

Akhtar said he “didn’t believe in virtual reality” until he sat down and tried the Oculus headset for the first time – and thought it would be the same for others who are able to. put on the glasses and try them on. Apple pioneered brick-and-mortar retail stores in Silicon Valley, and Meta, which owns Instagram and Facebook, likely hopes it will replicate at least some of that success.

“The truth is, physical things never left and never will,” Akhtar said. “Everyone realizes that even if we are going to enter the virtual world, we will have to access it with hardware.”

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