Smart specs scan surroundings and tell wearers what's there. Also: Future Martian homes might be made of microbes, and Pixar ups its game with Lightyear. The week's must-reads.
When Google Glass smart specs first appeared nearly a decade ago, people gawked. But they also balked. Remember the term "Glassholes"? Still, though Glass never made it to retail shelves, an enterprise edition is serving as the basis for some interesting, useful and perhaps even life-altering tech.
Envision's smart glasses use artificial intelligence to help people who are blind or visually impaired better understand their surroundings. The specs can scan objects, people and text, and then relay that information to the wearer by way of a small built-in speaker.
Wearers can even start a video call with friends or family members and have those folks describe the scene the device's camera is showing them. "I called up one of my colleagues ... and said, 'What do you see?' and she described the environment to me," one user told CNET's Abrar Al-Heeti.
That story is among the many in-depth features and thought-provoking commentaries that appeared on CNET this week. So here you go. These are the stories you don't want to miss.
Smart glasses from Envision are built on the enterprise edition of Google Glass.
Those annoying messages sent to your phone could be more dangerous than traditional email phishing, researchers say.
To build a thriving Martian civilization by 2050, we'll need somewhere to live -- and it might be inside buildings made of microbes.
The next Apple Watch software update might bring a new low-power mode and more health features.
Robots can make you bond with your devices like never before.
To get an 80-year-old biologist through the jungle and up a massive rock wall in search of an undiscovered frog, you bring along a rock-climbing legend.
British Airways pilot Mark Vanhoenacker has written a book that is equal parts guide, memoir and reflection on some of the world's great cities.
Two decades of innovation has made it possible to bring the iconic toy to life as a human character -- all while pushing through new animation challenges.
Little, yellow, different. This indie handheld game system breaks lots of rules.