Dell’s “Project Ophelia,” thought to have shipped back in July, appears to be inching its way closer to an actual release date with its final passing through the FCC filing, complete with user’s manual. The name “Ophelia” has been changed to “Wyse Cloud Connect,” which makes a lot more sense considering the device works via Dell’s “Wyse Cloud.” The device, like others before it, is trying to provide an cheaper alternative to a computer, as well as making the HDTV the center piece in our computing experience.
There is no mention of software in the filing, although devices were shipped out earlier to developers to work on Apps for newest Android dongle. It does show the device as plugging into an MLH capable HDMI connector on your TV and using both Bluetooth and 802.11n Wi-Fi as means of communicating. It shows a microSD card slot for additional storage, and USB ports for both power and peripherals. Dell is also working on a Bluetooth keyboard and accessories to work in conjunction with their Cloud Stick.
There are already alternative Android dongles on the market that provide the same services. The only real differentiating factor on Dell’s Wyse Cloud Stick from something like Google’s own Chromecast, is that it functions with Dell’s own Wyse Cloud computing service that they have heavily pushed for the business enterprise. With their Wyse Cloud Stick plugged into your TV, you would have access to all of your files store on their Wyse Cloud, along with the internet, including the Google play Store – allowing the user access to download all the Android apps for movie watching or game playing.
This could be the last “hurrah” for Dell – with PC sales dwindling, Dell needs to focus on other products. They tried their hand in the smartphone industry with their Dell Streak – an oversized phone before its time, and it was quickly taken off the market. They have recently tried and left the tablet field, only to try their hand at tablets again, with the release of the Venue 7 and Venue 8. When asked about their newest product, Jeff McNaught, executive director of cloud client computing at Dell said:
We’ve done a number of things in the software of the product and outside that will make it interesting…We want to make sure when we release the product that it’s perfect. The enterprise is one market we understand.
Details about when Dell will actually ship its new Wyse Cloud Connect have yet been released, and rumored pricing at $100 is almost three times the price of Google’s Chromecast, at $35. Dell is holding their Dell World Conference in mid-December and they are promising demos and may clue us in to when it will ship and exact pricing – you would think they would try for a launch during the holidays.