No Ether(net)

What will this Internet cafe look like in 5 years?

My guess would be that it simply gets replaced by traditional cafes, restaurants, and shops with wifi.

The Internet cafe is based on the assumption that you need a wire to communicate, kind of like the rotary telephone. The telephone booth may still be around just in case of an emergency but I don’t think the Internet plug-in will last another decade.

Of the browsers listed on this Internet cafe door, I think it’s safe to bet that only Google Chrome survives, especially since Google is taking the Chrome brand into other ventures like TV. Furthermore, Firefox and Internet Explorer will fail to gain traction after a late start in the mobile and tablet game.

In 5 years, it’s also safe to bet that a Chinese operated browser and device will be equally competitive. Xiaomi’s phones are gaining market share on the iPhone in China. In other words, even if the Internet cafe survives, I still don’t expect it to update its branding with a Safari logo.

Technology changes too fast for logos and cords to endure. I suspect in 5 years time I’ll be writing a similar blog post about emerging technologies replacing wifi. Connectivity might just be in the air.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.