ROUND THE WORLD WITH NEW TECH AND POP-UPS

Dreading the Christmas madness? Escape with virtual reality to a desert landscape, or perhaps a robot cabaret in Tokyo…

VR carpool karaoke? Product launches will never be the same again. Jaguar invited car journalists and celebrities like James Corden and Miranda Kerr to experience a virtual reality introduction to the new Jaguar I-PACE concept car. Guests took their virtual seats at two VR-connected hubs in LA and London, watching and interacting with the car when it was being built, and walking around it in the virtual desert landscape. Will this lead to a virtual shop in your living room? You bet! But for now, watch the video.

Robot cabaret in Tokyo: In Tokyo for Christmas? Don’t miss the rambunctiously delicious neon-blazing Robot Cabaret that goes well with a large glass of traditional sake. Giant female robots lead the performance, showing off the Japanese love of Segways as well as a mash up of Taiko drummers and Tokyo-techno. A must-see to understand what the Japanese consider a good “night economy” experience.

Designers go east: Closer to home, East London is cruising into pop-up season. Dalston is hosting a pop up and installation from the master leather craftspeople at Fleet Ilya. Head to their exhibit space to admire the rare subtlety of the skilled designer of club-wear and harnesses, and discover Shacklewell Lane, the new mecca of hip fashion with young brands like Miista and House of Sunny making fashion magic in this exotic part of the capital. Soho, move over – the West End is sooo last century.

Snapchat opens shop: On Monday, New York woke up to the very yellow and very large presence of a newly opened Snapchat brick-and-mortar store. Designed to show off their new Spectacles (AR-enabled glasses), the store is preparing to be inundated by the Pokémon Go crowd, eager to hunt for new AR adventures. 5 East 59th Street is where the future has set up its new camp with bots selling augmented reality glasses – just what you always wanted for Christmas.

Flip flop gate: Last year we were fascinated with the ambiguity of the colour of The Dress (playing on the cognitive illusion that makes individuals see different colours – black and blue or white and gold). This year it’s the turn of Havaianas – the eponymous flip-flop company reposted a pair from a user questioning the colours and voila – the post went viral. We hope their Black Friday will be raining gold not blue.

Party at ours: Take Skype’s group video chat, add a feature to enable sending notifications directly to your phone in real time, mix up some Snapchat fun features and open up Houseparty to hang out with your friends! Built by the ex-Meerkat team, this app is pure joy (as long as your Wi-Fi works). It’s even more fun than Snapchat, so watch out for this to go viral. We used it for internal training, linking six colleagues from six different countries and connecting them to a London-based trainer – it’s a thing of beauty!

Now on in London: Emma Hamilton: Seduction and Celebrity, with a commentary on her life (that sounds remarkably modern), is the topic of the new show at the National Maritime Museum. An exquisite homage to her brains and beauty, it’s worth a visit to Greenwich to reflect on the ethereal nature of fame and take a short break from the Xmas shopping madness.