When you're on the road, do you need to have a smartphone, tablet or laptop to access your computing resources? Dell doesn't think you should, and has developed a new, thin-client product that packs computing power into a device about the size of a USB memory stick.
The computer maker recently unveiled its compact, Wi-Fi -enabled portable device that takes advantage of personalized cloud client computing to reduce hardware to its smallest essential. Called the Dell Wyse "Project Ophelia," the product is a bit larger than a USB memory stick and allows a user to convert any accessible display screen into what the company called a "functioning interactive personal display device," with Bluetooth connection to a keyboard/mouse.
The Android 4-based device uses Wyse software that Dell acquired when it bought that company in April of last year. Wyse Technology was a provider of thin clients and desktop virtualization products.
Managed via Cloud
The company said that use cases include consumers who want access to cloud-based games but don't have their laptop or tablet handy, mobile users who want to utilize an available large display, and carriers who might want to offer such a device as part of their Internet/wireless service.
While the device is Android-based, Dell notes that it could allow a user to connect to Windows desktops and applications that are running on such infrastructure providers as Citrix, Microsoft and VMware. The device gets its power from the attached display through a Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) interface to the monitor's MHL port, or through its own USB interface, so no batteries are involved. The MHL port is not widely available, however.
Individual users can establish and save their own settings, meaning that the device can be passed around. It can also be managed by the Dell Wyse Cloud Client Manager software-as-a-service, allowing IT departments to manage the device with control over permissions and access to apps or content. Since all storage is in the cloud and the device can be disabled remotely by IT, it poses little risk in the event that a user forgets it on the sink in the hotel bathroom. (continued...)
Posted: 2013-02-08 @ 1:40pm PT
Re: At least for the near future, he said, this kind of small-device computing is "dependent on the cloud" for its storage and access to applications.
You can plug a USB memory stick or disk drive into the USB port. There's no need for cloud storage unless you prefer it.