This week’s [retail bytes] explores: What’s the latest with Augmented Reality?

Starved and in a rush? Apple’s got ya: Hungry but a fussy eater? You are in luck. Apple are working their socks off to give you Augmented Reality glasses so that, when you’re passing by a restaurant, instead of squinting to see the small print of the menu in the window, your phone location will notify the restaurant to tempt you with a large menu projection outside of the venue. Think Pokémon Go for hungry hipsters in a hurry. Yum yum.

Snap out of AR: The enfant terrible of social media, Snapchat, is at it again. Not only are their AR glasses actually stylish and low-key, they also avoid looking dorky as the geeky charger is kept well out of sight. Clever Snapchat engineers figured out that charging only needs to happen when the SnapGlasses are off, so they hid the charger in the hinges. Charging will take place in the cover with nicely folded glasses away from the prying eyes of passers-by. No hanging cords or overheating frames. Genius.

London calling: Urban AR will require a hefty dose of seamless wi-fi in town. Google has got a dog in this race, so its spinoff company Sidewalk Labs is rushing in to create wi-fi kiosks in London, replacing our much loved – but no longer useful – iconic red phone boxes. Handy for fast bandwidth activity (we’ve heard rumours about gigabit connection), but also for charging your devices when on the go, browsing local maps and making free calls to landlines or mobiles. But when oh when will they get us longer-lasting batteries?

Mind your stare: Fancy shopping and playing games just by using eye-tracking? Eye-tracking company Tobii is raising serious bucks to provide you with simply the most effortless of computer interfaces. Originally developed for disability support, eye-tracking is getting to maturity and ready to come out of the niches to serve the new generation of customers brought up on games, and comfortable with gaze-as-mouse. If it’s good for Alienware, it is good for us.

Plastic? Not so fantastic… Sneaker lover? Same here, but the plastic element in a sport shoe’s sole is as environment-friendly as your average Beijing morning smog. Not recyclable, sneakers are contributing to ocean pollution and peak plastic landfill problems. Now, Adidas is taking up the challenge and pioneering recyclable soles. As a bonus they may end up also being customisable thanks to 3D-printing technology. Next time you pop a pair on for your morning run, bear in mind that plastic is not-so-fantastic and that new tech is needed to save the oceans.

Xmas coming – here’s our suggestion for him: For a boy who has everything: USB condoms. Better safe than sorry, this practical USB condom gift will help prevent accidental data leak if your boyfriend’s USB is plugged into a casual computer or a stranger’s laptop. A must-have.

Xmas coming 2 – here’s our suggestion for her: You can never have too much make-up. The Chatbot in the Sephora app will let the girls make an appointment with a store stylist for personalised make-up advice. If assistants are busy, the app will automatically recognise her individual skin tone and recommend the colour/style of cosmetics to go with it.

Exhibition of the week: Xmas shopping in London? Sterling is crushed so you should be, as bargains are everywhere. Don’t miss the Vulgar Fashion show at the Barbican, exposing the tensions between streetwear, common taste, baroque and modern flamboyance. Our favourite was the ‘lucid’ magic of Iris Van Herpen’s hi-tech dresses, but there was a lot of depth to the show, curated with original insights into human nature by Judith Clark. Open till February 5th 2017 at the Barbican Centre in London.