Amazon unveil the Kindle Fire HDX, and throws in free parental tech support

Android, Tablet

Amazon have unveiled the latest addition to their tablet line up – the Kindle Fire HDX. Not only is it a powerful beast, but it has an intriguing new tech support feature, that could change how the whole industry operates.


Let’s start with the technical specs – it’s got an 8.9″ screen that runs at at 2560×1600 resolution – which Amazon claim has an “unsurpassed” pixel density, along with “perfect” (100% sRGB) colour accuracy – which they think will make images on the screen appear even more detailed.

Under the hood there’s a 2.2ghz processor and an 8 megapixel camera that can shoot video in 1080p. And there’s 2gb of RAM packed in there too.

To put this into perspective this is premium product. The Kindle Fire HDX has almost double the screen resolution of the also recently-announced Tesco Hudl, and the 2.2ghz processor compares favourably to the Hudl’s 1.5ghz.

So the numbers are interesting – but here’s the really potentially revolutionary thing. Amazon has announced that the new OS (Fire OS 3.0 – built on Android) will have a “Mayday” button. This – they claim – will put you one button press away from a live video chat with someone at tech support. That’s right – apparently cutting out any clunky instant message system on the company’s website, or a phoneline – video chat, so you’ll be able to see the person helping you. They won’t be able to see you though – they’ll just get a picture of your Kindle screen, so no need to worry if you surf in the nude.

The people at tech support will be able to guide you through doing what you need to, or even take control and show you (or perhaps more likely, your not-quite-as-tech-savvy parents) how to do it.

The implications for this are huge. If Amazon can do it and make it work – and that’s a big if – then this surely force the likes of Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and Google into doing the same thing?

James O’Malley
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