Resistance is futile: Amazon Fire TV Cube assimilates cord cutters, cable box users

Resistance is futile (and shut off the lights, Alexa)

Like a diminutive Borg ship, the Amazon Fire TV Cube has arrived in orbit, and millions of people are likely ready to be assimilated with little or no resistance. And for good reason: As TV streamers go, the Cube looks like it may be the ultimate weapon for cord cutters – and also cable box users.

Why? Because the Fire TV Cube will actually work with your cable box and a lot of other gear through HDMI CEC, an intergalactic (or at least, digital device friendly) communications system that allows you to chat up the Cube and have it work your TV, cable box, streaming apps and other connected devices. The Cube also features 4K HDR video output for pushing the latest TVs to their limits, and of course, Alexa is waiting for your every command and TV show search request. The new Fire TV Cube will run $120, or just $90 if you’re a Prime member. It ships on June 21st.

Look up, down and all around

It’s been a while since there was some drone news in the news, but DT Emerging Tech editor Drew Prindle recently got a close-up look at a new drone from Parrot called the “Anafi.” Looking a bit like a dragonfly, the Anafi features a slim, fold-up design and a 4K camera with HDR for some impressive video performance. But get this: While other video drones can only look forward and down, the Anafi’s 4K camera is on a three-axis gimbal that also allows it to look up. It also packs some zoom capability for a bit more variety in your shots. In stills mode the camera features a big 21-megapixel sensor.

You can use your phone to fly the drone or use it as a video monitor with the dedicated remote, and Parrot says the Anafi has over a two-mile range in clear conditions and 25 minutes of flight time on a battery charge. It’s $700 for the basic package and you can preorder yours now. Parrot says the new drone will start shipping in about three weeks. Check out Drew’s first look for more details.

Someday

From little flying machines to much bigger ones: Here’s some flight footage from some of the first test flights of the Kitty Hawk Flyer. That’s Kitty Hawk CEO Sebastian Thrun at the controls of the modern-day Flyer, an electric aircraft that looks like a cross between a drone, a soapbox racer and a seaplane. But hey, it’s in the air and flying.

The Flyer uses ten rotors for lift and can fly – at this time – for about 20 minutes at 20 miles an hour. But Thrun says future aircraft will be much faster and with much more range, and will hopefully help to clear up ground traffic as people take to the air in droves. There will likely be many more Kitty Hawk machines as the outfit has essentially bottomless funding since it’s a passion project supported by Google billionaire Larry Page.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.