Dakar Senegal is host to world’s first tablet cyber cafe expected to kick out PC computers in major cyber cafes in the city, which have been rendered ineffective due to frequent power cuts which are both a menace to businesses and internet users.
According to Alex Grouet, Business Development Manager, Francophone Africa & Yomi Oyesiku, Program Manager, Emerging Markets Access in a blog post, ” Because they are so easy to use, tablets can be a great way of introducing new users to the internet; however they’re still expensive for the majority of people in Africa. So how about making them available in cybercafés? Cybercafés would not only attract new customers interested in a more simple and interactive way of going online, but also make significant savings on their number one operating expense: electricity. Tablets consume much less power than desktops or laptops, and don’t require ventilation. Among other things, these savings can be reinvested in faster connectivity.”
The Tablette Cafe, the first in the world is a pilot project by giant search engine Google which introduced the concept to help spread internet use even during power cuts.
The Equinoxe Tablet Cafe run by Medoune Seck, was earlier a normal desktop PC cafe launched six years ago.
Alex Grouet and Yomi Oyesiku added, “We decided to sponsor the Equinox cybercafé, a typical cybercafé located in Dakar’s vibrant Medina neighborhood, to try out the concept. They have replaced their fleet of computers with 15 tablets, and made them available at the same price as a regular cybercafe computer session at 300 XOF an hour (about $0.60).”
Users pay for their sessions at the beginning, provide their identification cards and have tablets ready with popular applications for use or they can quickly download any application of their choice. They sit on comfortable couches or go to a private booth for a video chat or set their tablet on a dock and type away on a wireless keyboard. Once the session is finished, the cybercafé staff helps customers do factory reset to wipe out all their private data.