Imagine, if you will, the option to weigh all of your digital needs on a single USB drive. No, I'm not talking about just loading a bunch of essential files onto a thumb-drive, or even prepping a USB stick with a bootable OS. I'm actually talking about the distinct possibility of plugging your USB drive into any monitor and thus unleashing the full capacity and power of your computer.
While it certainly sounds a little too good to be true, Dell Wyse has actually just announced such a project. It's called Project Ophelia and it involves an Android 4.0 powered stick that can be plugged into any monitor or display to access a cloud computing solution.
Project Ophelia will allow users to utilize remote hardware on a cloud server for gaming, business, and even personal applications.
"Project Ophelia," is slightly larger than a USB memory stick and enables users to convert any capable TV or monitor into a functioning interactive personal display device without using a computer, tablet or smartphone.
Dell claims that the types of people who would benefit from such a product include the following:
- Gamers who need decent hardware to play graphic intensive games, yet do not have their laptop or desktop in their possession
- Gamers who just want to take advantage of a much larger display (although this is debatable considering you can connect any desktop, laptop or tablet to a full size HDTV)
- Mobile Professionals who do not have the resources to carry around a device capable of outputting to a large screen
- Cloud access providers who would like to introduce an affordable device to their customers
- Mobile carriers who are interested in providing internet and wireless services
It's remarkable that Dell expects gamers to have many uses for said device. Most PC gamers I know would still resort to their desktop for gaming, just because of how much more powerful they are. Still, it's hard to deny the appeal of cloud gaming which can be useful during travel. I'd love to be able to play all of my graphic intensive games while I'm away from home.
Of course, personally, I can think of a million different uses for such a device right off the top of my head. Dell continues to list the key benefits and specific applications for such a device, but I won't bother listing them here. If you'd like to see Dell's take on Project Ophelia, be sure to check out the press release (included below).
As for me, the option to carry a compact device that is "slightly larger than a USB memory stick", which offers access to both my business and personal machine, sounds extremely convenient. Yet, there's always the issue of security. What if I were to lose something like that?
Surprisingly, Dell was fairly quiet about the security measures of said device, but I'm guessing they have something up their sleeves. You can't just expect someone to store their entire life on a device the size of a USB memory stick, and not have some sort of encryption or advanced security system.
Also, there is no mention of how you would control the Project Ophelia device. If it's lightweight enough to carry in a pocket and connect to any monitor, I'm guessing you would not need to lug around a compatible keyboard and mouse. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that it will involve using a connected smartphone or tablet for control, possibly.
Dell expects to have Project Ophelia ready for consumers, and enterprise folk, by summer 2013.
Ultra-Compact Dell Cloud Connection Device Enables Access to Personal and Professional Content From Any Capable Display
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 8, 2013 - Dell today unveiled a solution that extends the value of cloud client computing to the next level, enabling people to manage the increasing convergence of their work lives and personal lives by using a compact, portable device to access not only secured professional assets, but also personal content via the cloud. The ultra-compact multimedia-capable device, called Dell Wyse "Project Ophelia," is slightly larger than a USB memory stick and enables users to convert any capable TV or monitor into a functioning interactive personal display device without using a computer, tablet or smartphone.
Today, people are increasingly looking to take and securely access their personal and professional content wherever they go. Despite rapid advances in mobile technology, however, they still face challenges when it comes to securely accessing desired information when they are away from the office. There is no easy way, for example, to access photos, music or video from a personal cloud or entertainment subscription when away from a PC, smartphone or tablet. Equally, professionals find it difficult to securely access and share work applications, presentations and content if they are away from their usual devices, or worse, if their mobile devices are misplaced or fail during travel. It is also difficult for IT organizations to enable and manage access to enterprise apps and content for highly mobile users, especially those who may be without their preferred laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Built on Dell Wyse software technology already used on millions of devices, Project Ophelia transforms ordinary displays into a window to entertainment, communications and a person's own personal cloud. The device also allows business users to instantly turn a display into a flexible, securely managed, communications-enabled thin client for work, demos or presentations. These capabilities are packed into a device barely larger than a USB stick that is self-powered through a monitor and easily fits inside your pocket.
The product addresses a variety of uses being fueled by the growing need to access cloud-based apps and resources at any time, or whenever a larger screen high definition digital display provides a superb user experience. Examples include:
- Consumers who desire in-the-moment access to cloud-based games or content but do not have their laptop or tablet in their possession;
- On-line gamers wishing to take advantage of a much larger display for an improved interactive experience;
- Highly mobile professionals who may not have a large display capable device with them; and
- Cloud access providers wishing to provide an attractively priced device included with carrier
Key benefits of Project Ophelia:
- Enables instant and secure access to your personal cloud, entertainment, work content and applications wherever there is an available capable display (using a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse), including a wide variety of Dell flat-panel displays.
- Integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth facilitates access and communication.
- Built on the Android 4 OS to support Web browsing, social networking, media playback and Android Apps
with a possibility to extend to other services.
- Securely connects to Windows desktops and applications running on back-end systems from all leading
infrastructure providers including Citrix, Microsoft and VMware.
- Flexibly powered zero-battery device gets power from the attached display monitor via its MHL interface
to the monitor's MHL port, or separately via its own USB interface. No batteries to charge or change.
- Remembers settings for each individual to enhance usability.
- Compatible with many existing Dell Wyse thin clients and software products.
ï¿¼ï¿¼- Managed by Dell Wyse Cloud Client Manager software-as-a-service (SaaS) which can ensure the device is being used by the appropriate person with the right permissions and access to apps and content based on role, department, and location.
Mobile devices have small screens, tablets and PCs aren't always convenient to haul around, and all these devices require batteries that can run down. 'Project Ophelia' turns capable TVs and monitors into personal and reliable Wi-Fi enabled work or entertainment stations - all managed easily by IT via Dell Wyse Cloud Client Manager."
Availability: Project Ophelia will be available in the first half of 2013 from Dell Cloud Client Computing.