By Paul Skeldon

Fed up with reality? Well, now you don’t even have to don a cumbersome headset and goggles to escape, because augmented, virtual and mixed reality are now so popular with consumers that they are reshaping how smartphones work and how apps are designed – and they are going to shake up the retail world too.

This week we find that we are awash with AR, VR and MR news – but we shouldn’t be surprised. The promise of overlaying the web onto the real world has been knocking about for ages, but thanks to things like Pokemon Go, SnapChat and a new raft of apps that help with improving selfies and bringing astronomy to life, consumers are now very much hungry for more.

In fact, a study by online smartphone retailer has found that, while interest in wearables has declined by 18% in a year, searches for smartphones that are going to be good at VR are up 300%.

Much of this has been driven by interest in apps that can overlay or change things on phones, but it is also starting to be seen as something that consumers…