Google has sponsored a cybercafe in West Africa to replace desktops with tablets. Named by Google as TabletCafé, The Equinox cybercafé in Dakar, West Africa has its computers replaced by 15 tablets, and made them available at 300 XOF an hour (about $0.60) – the same price as a regular cybercafe computer session.
On starting a session on the tablet, the customers will have a set of popular applications and shortcuts to the most visited local websites ready for immediate use. They can also download any application of their choice.
“We look forward to finding out as the project unfolds, and hope that people living in Dakar will stop by to try out something new,” said Google in an official blogpost.
As evident in the pictures, the device can be used comfortably seated on a couch, on a dock with a wireless keyboard or from a private booth for a video chat. Upon completion of a session, the cybercafé staff perform a factory reset, to erase all of private data on the device.
Google cites three primary reasons for launching TabletCafés:
- To introduce new users to the Internet for whom the hardware required is too expensive.
- To provide a simple and interactive way of going online.
- Since tablets consume much less power than desktops or laptops, and don’t require ventilation, a significant amount of electricity and revenue can be saved. These savings can be reinvested to provide faster connectivity.
“This innovation is really great for our business, which is why I readily accepted to participate in this project,” said Médoune Seck, Co-owner, Equinox cybercafé.
“My customers are really pleased to hold the tablets in their hands and use them from the comfort of the arm chairs,” he added.