Tech Retrospect: Google retools Glass project, while the 3DS gets reborn

Google will stop selling the initial version of its connected eyewear, but that doesn't mean it's dead. Also, Nintendo's New 3DS is coming to the US, and Facebook goes to work. All that and more in this look back at the week in tech.

Tim Stevens Former editor at large for CNET Cars
Tim Stevens got his start writing professionally while still in school in the mid '90s, and since then has covered topics ranging from business process management to video game development to automotive technology.
Tim Stevens
4 min read


Hello again, dear readers. It's been a little while, what with the holidays, then CES and, most recently, the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The media days there have wrapped up, and, despite some frigid temperatures and intermittent snow showers in Detroit that left many attendees pining for fairer climates, it was a show not to be missed.

The belle of the ball was undoubtedly the Ford GT . It's the re-reinvention of the '60s racing icon, the GT40. The 2005 edition of the GT turned heads -- but ultimately left behind a legacy of technical glitches and dealer markups. The new GT starts off on far better footing, with a luscious, modern design and better attention to details. At least, that's what Ford Design VP Moray Callum told me about the car. But then he would, wouldn't he?

Duel in Detroit: Acura, Ford unveil supercars at the 2015 Detroit auto show (pictures)

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Honda/Acura finally took the wraps off the production NSX, after years of teasing and promising. The car's looks are a bit understated, especially next to the ridiculous GT, but its technology does seem to be greater. It has a trio of electric motors mixing with a gas-powered heart to provide what should be an incredibly capable driving experience. With its all-wheel drive, though, I can't help wonder whether it'll feel as alive as its predecessor or it will be more of a super-GT-R on the track.

And then there were the Volt and Bolt twins, a pair of alternately powered cars from Chevy. The new Volt ups the electric-only range to 50 miles and sports a much nicer exterior than its predecessor. The Bolt, meanwhile, is a concept for a battery-powered EV with 200 miles of range and an MSRP of just $30,000. No formal plans for production just yet, but GM could just beat Tesla's Model 3 to the punch with this one. In theory.

Head over to our Detroit page for the full rundown from the show.

Google reorganizes Glass unit, stops selling Explorer Edition

Sarah Tew/CNET

I confess that I bought the hype and the excitement and really thought that by now, in 2015, there'd be some sort of consumer version of Google Glass that would have sold at least 100,000 units or so. Instead the company never moved past the developer-only "Explorer Edition" of the headset, priced way too high for consumers and, frankly, too clunky and cumbersome for the masses even if it were affordable. Now, Google has announced that the headset unit is moving out of the Google X research lab, where it was born. The Glass project will be its own team, overseen by Nest's Tony Fadell. The company also said the last day for the general public to buy the Explorer Edition is Monday. I'm hopeful the result will be a device that augments consumers' realities -- while not dominating their faces.

New Nintendo 3DS coming to America

The New 3DS and New 3DS XL Sarah Tew/CNET

Nintendo released the New 3DS in Japan last year, and I happened to be out there to grab one and review it for us. It's a worthy update to the system -- one that those of us in the US will soon be able to buy legitimately. The system ships here on February 13 for $200, but it's worth noting that we Americans will only be getting the super-sized XL version of the console. Maybe Japan thinks we all have big hands? Could be worse.

BlackBerry-Samsung deal rumored, then denied

BlackBerry is trying to be itself and release phones that are very BlackBerry. CNET

At this point I would be shocked to learn that consumer electronics giant Samsung had not considered making a serious bid for the assets of struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry, but rumors of an acquisition sent the Waterloo, Ontario-based smartphone maker's stock soaring this week. However, BlackBerry quickly posted a terse response, stating that it was not involved in discussions with Samsung about an acquisition. The stock, then, quickly returned to its normal levels. That is to say, prime for acquisition by someone.

Facebook at Work

Facebook@Work Facebook

Do you use Facebook at work? Sure, we all do, but be prepared for your daytime social networking to get a boost of legitimacy. The uber-network has finally, publicly launched its Facebook at Work program, an attempt to go straight after LinkedIn with a more professional spin on its social offerings. More professional how? Well, you'll be able to curate separate pages and connections with co-workers and business associates, meaning you can now well and truly keep your MBA crew separate from your MMA crew. The site has launched in limited, invite-only form for now, so remember to keep it professional when begging for invites.

Young padawan gets 3D-printed Stormtrooper arm

You don't typically think of Imperial Stormtroopers engaging in good gestures, beyond perhaps turning a blind eye on some droids to help move the storyline along. But, members of the 501st Legion showed that the Dark Side has a soft side this week after they presented 7-year-old Liam Porter with a 3D-printed prosthetic arm. Enjoy the video of the moment above, and do try to keep warm this weekend.