Dell Wyse Unveils Thin Client of Last Resort
January 15, 2013 Alex Woodie
Dell‘s Wyse group last week took the wraps off Project Ophelia, a new thin client computer that’s about the size of a USB memory stick. The device is designed to allow consumers and employees who don’t have a smartphone, tablet, or laptop to still access to their computing environments by plugging into monitors and keyboards they stumble across in the wild.
Project Ophelia is the latest brainchild of Dell’s “cloud client computing” group, which is composed in part of the Wyse organization that the Round Rock, Texas, company bought last spring. The idea behind the project, which will manifest itself by July as an Android OS on a stick, is to give people who don’t have a smartphone, tablet, or laptop access to their apps and data from any existing TV, monitor, or workstation in the world.
We know what you’re thinking: People without smartphones, tablets or laptops? Do they still exist? Apparently, you don’t have to travel deep into the Australian bush to find people who aren’t packing a working computing device of some type. In fact, one may be lurking on your street corner right now.
You see, while people may not voluntarily venture from their homes or caves without a smartphone, tablet, or laptop (or whatever those things from Samsung are), the fact is that people, at some point in their lives, may find themselves without one of the aforementioned devices, and that is precisely the moment that they would whip out their Project Ophelia stick, establish a WiFi connection, connect to a Bluetooth-capable keyboard, and proceed to securely access their sales presentation, financial report, or Katie Perry albums sitting up in the cloud.
As Dell Wyse explains it: “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,” the company writes. “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.”
Losing a laptop, tablet, or smartphone is scary business, especially when you’re on the road, or living with a two year old. With Project Ophelia, users are given a second chance to get their stuff when their primary device is A.) crushed by an escalator, B.) stolen from a hotel room, or C.) eaten by a baby. Just be careful not to store Project Ophelia in your laptop case, in the same pants that hold that thing from Samsung, or next to the oatmeal.