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Mayday: Near-instant, real-time customer service
Move over, Siri
Rather than settling for regular voice recognition and virtual assistance, Amazon's "Mayday" goes one step further — by tapping into one of Amazon's most well-known and prided characteristics: 24/7 customer service.
At a touch, Mayday opens a small pop-up box on the screen, connecting the user directly to a live customer service agent for free at anytime from anywhere with an internet connection. The user can see the customer service agent, but not vice versa. Bezos quipped to reporters that customers won't have to worry about what they're wearing when trying to get answers quickly.
Amazon extends customer service support with Mayday
With response times at less than 15 seconds (even during busy periods such as present-opening times on Christmas Day), Kindle Fire users can start Mayday and access customer service agents on the fly, who are able see the user's screen on their end and direct the user step by step.
Agents can offer help for complicated tasks, from configuring VPN access to simpler activities such as adjusting the lock screen. But, Amazon reps assured, the one thing they can't see is sensitive customer data, such as passwords or credit card data.
Amazon is preparing Mayday for international support, but it will initially only be available in the US market.
Low-end tablet still packs a powerful punch
Amazon, arguably, is more interested in taking on the low-end and emerging mobile market than Apple is, based on the recent (and underwhelming, to some) introduction of the iPhone 5c.
However, despite rumors that Amazon may be working on a smartphone of its own, Bezos remained mum, replying only that he doesn't like to speculate about "future road maps."
Amazon is going toward the bottom even further with a "new" 7-inch Kindle Fire HD. Though it is a new device with familiar parts — the same processor and display technology as last year's high-end Kindle Fire — it's smaller in size and has less storage space, at just 8GB. Lacking a microphone, and therefore Amazon's new Mayday feature, it comes in at just $139.