Amazon Building 24/7/365 Video Tech Support into Kindle Fires

Amazon has a new button. This button, built into the new Kindle Fire HDX's software, summons a real, live human being (support technician) to your tablet over video chat, day or night, any day of the year, for whatever reason you want. It's positively absurd, in scope (and, likely, practice). And it's something that only Amazon could pull off.

This is a crazy new way to do tech support. Basically, Mayday is a button in the settings of the new Kindle Fire HDX that summons a live video chat with a support technician right onto your tablet's screen, in about 15 seconds. From there, they can answer any questions you have, and even draw on your screen to help you find stuff, or if you allow them, even interact with the software. For example, they could pop into your videos tab to show you how a new feature works.

Oh, right, and all of this is free, and unlimited.

Importantly, the technician can't see you—your mic is active to speak. So it won't, hopefully, turn into a deranged version of Chat Roulette. Still, perverts: Please, please don't ruin this for the rest of us, even though you're definitely going to try to ruin this for the rest of us.

But really, this is an impossible, insane, psychotic, wonderful thing Amazon's trying to do. And it just might have the muscle and manpower (and cloudpower) to do it. Think about it: ten years ago, people were floored by the ability to go to an Apple Store and get a Genius Bar appointment. Now, you don't leave your house. Or get off the toilet. You press a button, and you're served. Incredible—in so many aspects of the word.

As for security, Amazon didn't have too many details. You can pause the video feed while you enter a password, but it's not clear if you can manage what content (sensitive work emails, for example) the operator can and can't see. Existing technicians are being trained in Mayday, though additional operators will probably be added, as needed.