SUMMER TECH ROLLS ON

Festivals, virtual reality, 3D-printed chocolates and AR in stores – summer tech is here to stay.

 First, let me take a selfie: Drugs, glitter and fairy wings do not a festival maketh. What does is understanding that millennials are only happy when plugged into the Matrix and hooked up to the hive. After horrific experiences at last year’s Secret Garden Party in the UK, when FB and Insta-starved fans were wandering around in a disconnected daze, this year the organisers made up in spades for their previous mishaps. The festivalgoers could buy £20 wristbands on site and use them to access a Charge Candy tent. The comfy beanbags in the charging tent and cosy ambience turned the space into a romantic meet-up spot. Good thinking. Westfield London take note, as your barren and unloved mobile phone charging stations are missing that romantic opportunity.

Reporting virtually from Lollapalooza: As fans gathered at the Lollapalooza Festival’s giant stages in Chicago, SamsungVR was drawing the crowds in with their VR experiences. On offer were 4D skateboarding and surfing experiences, where (without gruelling hours of training) users could come as close to their Big Wave Moment as anyone in Maui. Ok, it’s not as good as the real thing, but for not bad for getting the surfing high without as much as a single wipe out! The real hit turned out to be the $349 cameras that were on sale, which let fans use their creative spirit and cut their own reporting from the festival. Fans love to share, and to share in VR is special. Good call.

Festival packing taken care of: Festivals aren’t just a sensorial challenge, but also a sartorial one. Each has its own distinct vibe, so for the boys who aren’t on top of trends or are simply time-poor, a new online personal shopper company has sprung up in Nottingham to solve all your styling problems. TheChapar.com will ask for your style preferences then send you four sets of outfits of which you can keep one and return the unwanted three for no charge. A competitor to Thread.com, the new startup is upping the ante, offering a wider range and is backed by Ted Baker, Hackett and Gant, with Orlebar Brown and Finisterre rumoured to be on the verge of signing up. British males have never had it so easy.

Future food: In the spirit of lateral thinking, London has just hosted the first pop-up restaurant with an entirely 3D-printed (and delicious) menu created by top Catalan chefs. Food Ink set up its three-day wonder pop-up eatery in Shoreditch (where else?), offering discerning diners a first look of what the food of the future will be. Their approach allows chefs to create new visual patterns and, as for the punters, being able to see your dish printed in front of you with names like Cosmic Delight is an intriguing experience. Our favourite was the Chocolate Matrix, but that’s no surprise as everyone knows about our passionate chocoholic addiction. Future food? Bring it on!

Find Max!: As festival season is drawing to a close and we land back in reality, the back-to-school shopping frenzy is descending on us. Sears in the U.S. has injected fun into the occasion with their new Find Max game. It’s an in-store scavenger hunt via your mobile phone, created by the authors of the delightful movie The Secret Life of Pets.  Kids can search for a cute virtual dog called Max, then use the QR codes around the shop to unlock sweepstakes and get points for finding the hidden pet. Pokémon Go it is not, but close enough to make parents thankful for entertaining kids on what is normally a never-ending session of trying on countless items of dreaded school uniforms. Good thinking Sears – John Lewis, take note!