Things just keep getting smarter. “Smart” doorbells, phones, speakers, cars — even forks.
But how do you know what’s really the smartest stuff? What things inspire a sense of wonder, change our perceptions or make a difference in the way we live and work? And who are the people working on the future, today?
We wanted to find out. So after months of research and planning, the CNET News team packed their bags to visit interesting people working on the kinds of gee-whiz, cool stuff that reminds us why tech is so much fun. More than a dozen reporters, photographers and videographers journeyed thousands of miles to find out firsthand what smart people are doing to make us — and the world around us — smarter.
This is Road Trip 2017: The Smartest Stuff.
We followed in the footsteps of Princess Diana, guided by an organization that’s using Google Earth to sniff out land mines in Angola. We saw drones being used to deliver lifesaving medicines to remote clinics and doctors in Rwanda. We drove through an ancient landscape in the shadow of an active volcano in Sicily to find one of the world’s most connected cities.
Our adventures also led us to winemakers melding craft and science in Napa and Sonoma (yes, wine tasting was involved). We got a front row seat at a VR studio in Silicon Valley that’s rethinking storytelling, and braved mosquitoes in the marshlands of northern Ohio to get tips from the world’s top bird watchers on how they’re tracking their elusive targets.
This is just the latest chapter in our Road Trip series. Each summer for more than a decade, our reporters and editors have gone on assignment to meet the people, companies and tech reshaping our lives.
In 2015, we hunted for innovation outside the Silicon Valley bubble. That included visiting archeologists in Israel, mobile startups in Vietnam and scientists modeling the city of the future in Detroit.
Last year, we tackled a bigger story: Trying to understand what role tech was playing in the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II. The result — “Road Trip 2016: Life, Disrupted” — included dozens of stories, slideshows, videos, essays about how tech is being used by millions of refugees in camps and makeshift shelters, from Greece to France to a remote island off the coast of Australia.
Road Trip 2017: The Smartest Stuff begins today, with a story by CNET News Executive Editor Roger Cheng about the first legally blind runner to complete the Boston Marathon with help from Google Glass — and a remote guide leading his steps from two states away.
We hope you’ll join us on this year’s adventure.
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