Meta is opening a physical retail store to promote the metaverse, a paradoxical move for a company set on an increasingly digital future.

Located on the tech company's campus in Burlingam, California, the location will stock a range of Meta-branded virtual reality devices including the Portal and Quest 2 VR headset, allowing people to try the gadgets out before investing in them.

Opening on May 9, the store will also offer test drives of Meta and Ray-Ban's collaborative smart glasses, though buyers will be redirected to Ray-Ban's website to actually purchase them.

"The Meta Store is going to help people make that connection to how our products can be the gateway to the metaverse in the future," Martin Gilliard, head of the Meta Store, said in an official announcement from the company. "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."

Meta's move makes sense from a practical standpoint (trying on a VR headset or making a Portal call in the flesh could certainly be the deciding factor for some metaverse-hesitant buyers), but it still strikes as antithetical to Mark Zuckerberg's enthusiastic embrace of virtual environments.

In fact, the announcement is a testament to the indispensability of physical retail, even as e-commerce sales grow.

Over the course of the pandemic, we've learned that video calls and other virtual interaction can augment face-to-face interaction. Still, there's no replacement for the physical presence of another human. Online shopping is similar — it expands consumer retail options, but the "add to cart" button doesn't convey the heft of a product, or the texture of its surface.

Try as Zuckerberg might, the metaverse can't replicate the tactile and emotional experiences that make life wonderful (at least not yet).

What To Read Next

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    EXCLUSIVE: For Spring, TOMMY JEANS Explores Street Driving Culture

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    It Smells a Lot Like a New Le Labo Candle in Here

  • best anime movies feature Barefoot Gen Fullmetal Alchemist Ghost In The Shell

    The Best Anime Movies to Watch Summer 2022

    Culture
  • best rapper chains feat Quavo Yung Berg camron

    The Best Rapper Chains in We've Seen Witnessed Over The Years

    Culture
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Stone Island's New Balance 574 Is Finally Getting a Wider Release

    Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Nike & The Surgeon Craft a LeBron Fit for a King

    Sneakers
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.