Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, said on Monday that it planned to open its first physical storefront next month, as it works to transform itself into a leader of the metaverse.
The Meta Store, at the company’s campus in Burlingame, Calif., will open on May 9, Meta said. The store will showcase Meta’s hardware, including the Quest 2 virtual-reality headset, the Portal video calling device and the Ray-Ban Stories smart sunglasses. Customers can try out the devices to experiment with virtual and augmented reality and buy the items in the store or later online at Meta’s or Ray-Ban’s website.
In November, The New York Times reported on the development of the Meta Store, based on internal documents and people with knowledge of the company’s plans.
“The best way to understand virtual reality is to experience it,” Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s founder and chief executive, said in a statement.
Mr. Zuckerberg has plunged his company headlong into pursuing his vision of the so-called metaverse, a futuristic digital world where people move from virtual to augmented versions of reality almost seamlessly. That shift involves getting people on the platform acclimated to virtual- and augmented-reality devices, which is a major change for the social networking company. For most of its 18-year existence, it has focused on providing free software products to users, supported by advertising.
Mr. Zuckerberg considers the virtual- and augmented-reality devices as a steppingstone to a more connected future in which people are more comfortable with communicating through wearable technology.
The company is at work on other hardware products, like a smartwatch and more high-tech augmented-reality glasses. Mr. Zuckerberg has said he expects mass adoption of the technology to take years.