IN FOR A PENNY In time for Christmas, and no doubt in repentance for their previous tax “optimization” policy, Caffé Nero has now joined Penny For London. The chain´s coffee-crazed customers are invited to donate 1 penny to charity for every transaction, via a micro-donation back-office technology developed by Barclays and Transport For London. Tech for good will always gets our support – just don´t forget to pay your taxes, Mr. Nero!
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE? With Black Friday sales up by an estimated 133%, the American tradition has reached British shores for the first time, causing havoc both in-store and on e-com. John Lewis, Argos and Tesco had a tough time keeping up and were unprepared for the mayhem. Lesson hopefully learned! Beware of Manic Monday on the 8th, as it is supposed to be an even bigger hit.
CLICK & COLLECT 24/7 Click-and-Collect is all good, but the limited availability during business hours just doesn’t serve our 24/7 society well enough. Even though Canadians are not particularly top of the e-com league, they have launched grab-and-go lockers which are available around-the-clock! Customers can now pick up their shopping on the way home from the pub – just don’t forget your locker code!
TOP OF MY CHRISTMAS LIST If like me your handbag is like a bottomless pit, particularly when you’re in a hurry to find your keys or phone, this Ralph Lauren bag is a godsend. No more need to empty the contents onto the pavement – this stylish bag not only has an internal LED, but also a built-in USB charger. So now when you do find your phone it’ll be fully charged.  Sorted.
3D PRINT YOUR OWN LITTLE PRINCESS The 3D printed mini-selfie is becoming the gift du jour. Get your kids to the Cumberland Hotel for some in-store theatre, dressed as their favorite hero or princess, and they can be scanned for a 3D selfie. Sharing the fun can be equally amusing, whether through the inserted chip in the finished figure (triggering more images on auntie´s phone) or by placing it on the mantelpiece.
GET SMART ON THE SLOPES What to get for the boy that has everything? Oakley Airwave 1.5 Recon Ski Goggles, of course! Not only will his messages appear on the head-up display (that is better than Google Glass…well, bigger for starters), but he also gets built in GPS, an  accelerometer and barometer as a little extra.
COMIC GETS 3D MAKEOVER Comic book covers have always been pioneers in publishing, but it is 3D printed covers that are now gaining fans. Retailers need to pay attention to this new challenge, as these books are rather beautiful objects. Another reason physical books are still holding out against the Kindle.
MELT MY HEART If like me you love The Big Blue movie, you may want to order yourself a Jean Reno chocolate sculpture and add a touch of class to your  festive decorations. Mine is already hanging on the tree! Order the celeb of your dreams from our favorite 3D printers, or even bring the printer to your Xmas party and enhance your image as a cool boss.
BACK TO THE FUTURE It’s been 20 years since the first banner appeared on HotWired, and the Atari Jaguar flopped in a spectacular manner. If you never really left the 80s and fancy something retro, this game controller harks back to a simpler age of 8 bit game consoles, and it works with your iPad or Android device to play apps too.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST Who’s been missing out on the current craze for video messaging? Skype was late to the party, but Qik is their answer to SnapChat. It offers a unique feature allowing you to control video messages – even once you´ve pressed send! So if you feel your message after the Xmas party was a little too courageous, simply delete it remotely. Thank you Skype for recognizing the “right-to-be-forgotten” – I hope this will become a standard on all social!