Xmas is in the air! What better gift than a bit of Augmented Reality tech? This week, we take a close look at at the latest AR and VR innovations.

 It takes a big phone to Tango: Google’s new AR phone is tipped as the must-have Xmas present. As its Tango AR platform is maturing, we had high hopes for this Lenovo Phab 2 Pro piece of geekery to have a play with Pokémon Go or to shop for a comfy sofa. However, as it is kitted with Augmented Reality sensors which are on the larger size, it will not be a pocket-size device. Fashion people, take note: bigger pockets are now required. Till then, we’ll get our sofa from the old-fashion (online) style.

VR is getting strange: On the plus side, beautiful VR art can now be created in a process akin to traditional painting. Artist @sutuEatsFlies has literally been colouring the town red in Hong Kong with VR tools to promote Marvel’s new Doctor Strange. Fantasmagoric creations done in a tiltbrush were coming to life, as the artist was wearing a VR helmet to guide his movements. Could use one of those for creating the front of store for the next pop-up!

No more getting lost in the dairy aisle: Do you get lost in Tesco or Selfridges? Thanks to Augmented Reality, you’ll be able to get a helmet with AR-enabled glasses and a head-up display to guide you to where your product is displayed. Originally created by Daqri for use in cars, to help drivers get to their destination without being distracted, the concept is now being picked up for retail and store guidance. Useful.

Apple AR maps are the future: Apple is working to help customers navigate reality… and avoid getting lost. As we are getting more comfortable with Augmented Reality, Apple wants to be our guide by letting us use AR to navigate new cities and strange surroundings. A new patent has now been logged  for approval – their AR maps technology offers the option to point a hand-held communication device to capture and display a real-time video stream, which then triggers information about each place.  Will it encourage us to be more adventurous? We hope so.

Play it safe with Zackees: It’s getting dark out there and cycling is more dangerous than at other times of the year. Get Zackees Gloves – LED equipped gloves that show others when you’re about to turn. Bike lights are life savers but often get stolen, but gloves are always with you.  Designed in California by a Google engineer obsessed with making cyclists safer, Zackees will keep you warm… and safe. Order now!