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The Observer: "Welcome to the local high street … on your smartphone"

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"The government is funding a £2m initiative to create apps designed to help struggling local retailers compete. A future trip to the high street could start with pre-booking your parking spot by mobile app and sending out an alert to local shops to tell them what you are heading into town to buy.

"Once there, you might find might yourself searching for a new T-shirt from inside the changing room if you find the one you took to try on doesn't suit.

"These are among the 21 technology projects the government has funded to the tune of £2m in the hope they can help high street retailers.

"The schemes, selected from 181 applicants by the UK's innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, under its Reinventing the High Street scheme, aim to help independent retailers and town centres that are struggling to cope with a dramatic shift towards online shopping."

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