Amazon Debuts New Kindle Fire HDX Tablets With Live Pop-Up Video Help

Amazon's latest offering.

Amazon’s latest offering.

There was a show on VH1 wherein music videos would play (yes, on TV, kids!) and little bubbles of information about the artist or the video would pop up so you could learn while you listened. Maybe someone at Amazon was a fan of that show too, because the company’s new Kindle Fire HDX tablets have a sort of pop-up help feature on the desktop. But instead of just words, a tech-support rep appears.

The new tablets come with either a 7-inch screen or an 8.9-inch screen, and both feature what Amazon is calling the Mayday Button. Once pressed, the button summons help for the user and a video chat screen pops up, Reuters reports.

Lest you be afraid to face a stranger in your skivvies, don’t worry — Amazon says the support rep can’t see you at all, but you can see the person trying to explain to you what the Google is and how to do the Internet.

They can even operate your device remotely if you just can’t get the hang of things, all at the touch of a button. Once that button is touched, Amazon is aiming for a 15-second maximum response time.

As for how many service reps are waiting on your call for help and scurrying to answer it within that time frame, Amazon isn’t telling. But the company is hoping the niftiness factor will give it a boost over competitors like Apple and Google.

“This is the kind of feature that we are well-suited to do,” said Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, showing off the new tablets to reporters at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters on Tuesday. “Many of the things we’ve done marry together high-tech with heavy lifting. This is one of those things.”

“We’ll be ready for Christmas morning, which is always a very big tech support day for us,” said Bezos.

Customers can preorder the wi-fi only models now, with shipping scheduled for October for the 7-inch tablet (starting at $229 for 16G) and November for the 8.9-inch tablet (starting at $379 for 16G. Wireless 4G versions of both will be available for an extra $100 later in 2013.

Amazon unveils new tablets with live video help desk [Reuters]