The tech world's favorite guessing game can finally be put to rest.
A long-anticipated set-top box Amazon is expected to unveil at a press conference Wednesday is in fact an indoor drone, according to sources. The device will wirelessly deliver films, TV shows and video games to screens while hovering mid-air in U.S. homes.
Google. But Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is counting on the airborne robot's ability to fly to set it apart from its gravity-bound competition.
Company execs turned to the drone technology they were previously developing strictly for outdoor use when they realized deploying a streaming device would encounter a problem: There are already so many set-tops currently accumulating on and around American TV sets, from Roku to Tivo, that there would be no room for Amazon.
But in an effort to one-up the competition, the Amazon drone will do more than just provide video. The technology will be capable of other viewing-oriented services, from retrieving missing remote controls wedged deep in couch cushions to simply hovering over viewers' open mouths and pouring snacks down their throats -- thus freeing up their hands to hold yet other Amazon products like the Kindle Fire.
The indoor drone will be a companion is to the much-anticipated drones Amazon gave a sneak peek to last year on "60 Minutes," which are capable of delivering products from the company's warehouses to their customers' doorsteps.
"The outdoor drone was only one half of the solution," whispered an Amazon insider. "Once the drone brings your delivery to your home, are you supposed to go pick it up at the front door yourself? Like, with your hands? No. Sit back and let the indoor drone do the heavy lifting."
Amazon is also powering the indoor drones with military-grade propulsion systems capable of keeping them aloft without landing for months at a time. But once their ion-lithium batteries run dry, the company is said to also be developing a separate set of "refueling" drones capable of midair recharging, not to mention app-based radar systems capable of monitoring the simultaneous flights of multiple drones in the home.
While having a device with fast-moving, sharp-edged blades whirring under roofs in reaching distance of kids and pets could present safety challenges, Amazon is confident that a built-in voice recognition system will allow consumers to redirect the device away from errant hands or paws.
Editor's Note: In case it was not already abundantly obvious, the "news" above is 100% fiction in observance of April Fool's Day.
2014 Variety Media, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC
Amazon Set-Top Box REVEALED: It's an Indoor Drone!
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