Google helps with tablet internet cafe concept trial in Senegal

Posted by Read 11 Comments

senegal-cafeRegular internet cafes, no, traditional internet cafes, feel so yesteryear. Yes, customers can come in with their own laptops and tablets for the WiFi, but the cafes still have desktops that they expect the customers to use. An internet cafe in Senegal has decided to put those big machines away and have tablets instead, and Google is helping them trial the concept.

Google posted about the project on its blog yesterday saying the tablet model would result in significant savings for the cafe. “Tablets consume much less power than desktops or laptops, and don’t require ventilation.” said in the post. Which is true of course. Tablets are also getting cheaper by the day; much faster than their desktop grand parents. And this is especially so for tablets running Google’s own operating system, Android.

It’ll be interesting to see if this succeeds, but we think it’s a model that can be adopted in the wider Africa. We imagine it’s a great model for cafes looking to provide services in low income rural communities where there’s no national grid electricity, and where people  cannot afford to buy their own internet enabled devices.

image credit: Google



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  1. dnc says:

    not in zimbabwe. those tablets would disappear. fast.

    1. Greg Kawere says:

      thats why there is something called a laptop lock cable

      1. beatnyama says:

        Laptop cables do not work on Tablets. But i like your thinking. There are specialized cables used by tablet sellers in shops, those work very well.

  2. Curious says:

    idea is obvious but if i want to download files can will the tablet have enough storage space and can we several user accounts on a tablet

  3. beatnyama says:

    Interesting concept. However i see some concerns already. First of all is security, its very difficult to secure these devices as by their nature they are made to be portable. Second problem is the issue of ability to use the tablet. For those that know how to use a tablet, its straight forward, for those that don’t know, its a pain using that thing. I’ve given my tablet to many to try and use and they always end up swearing. Of course this can be fixed by referring them to the desktops.
    Thirdly, despite all efforts to make their screens and tablets very strong, these expensive gadgets are very prone to getting damaged easily. Drop it and that lovely huge screen is gone. Not to mention the ugly fingerprints all over the screen (yes i know, u can hv a piece of cloths to clean the screen, but u get my point).
    In addition to being fragile, these devices are also very expensive. For the price of a 10inch Galaxy tab or IPad, you can get two very good PCs with big screens with a keyboard mouse and speakers.
    Besides this….. seems like a good idea. Its good to move with the times

  4. MI5 says:

    With Windows 8 causing most precipitous PC decline in history, will tablets completely replace PCs in time?

  5. sikefula says:

    in Africa?.. seems to be far-fetched to me….am in the internet cafe business and 90% of my time is actually spend on teaching/showing internet users how to use the internet let alone the basic computer programs themselves…throw in the tab and you are asking for too much for many a user…imho!…

    1. is it not that tablets are difficult to get for the traditional PC users but much much easier for individuals that have never used a PC? smartphones and tablets more naturally intuitive, no?

  6. Dogstar says:

    Will not work. This is Africa. Those tablets will disappear before they even had their 2nd recharge. No amount of software can lock those tablets from being stolen. If a net cafe in Silicon valley still uses computers, what makes you think this concept will work in the dark deep valleys of Africa?

    1. irenem says:

      in yo mind all Africans ar just thieves?

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