Dell announces Project Ophelia, a USB stick that uses the cloud to make any monitor a PC

dells cloud computing arm to announce project ophelia at ces 2013 clouds

Dell Wyse, the computer brand’s cloud computing arm, is slated to announce a device code-named Project Ophelia at CES in Las Vegas. The gadget is a USB stick that plugs into any monitor and converts it temporarily into a PC computer, according to Engadget. The device runs Android 4.0, the operating system better known as Jelly Bean, and it connects to a cloud server that houses all of your computing content. Project Ophelia only needs two amps of power to run, and it can get that from the monitor it’s plugged into. Just add in a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and you have your computer anywhere you go.

Tarkan Maner, Dell’s vice president and general manager of cloud computing, spoke with Cloud Pro about the new device. Maner said the company has its own IP on the device for security all the way between the device and the Dell data center. The gadget is managed by Dell Wyse Cloud Client Manager software-as-a-service, which gives extra protection by ensuring that the person using Project Ophelia has the correct permissions to access files.

Maner also noted that during Dell’s design phase, the company received inquiries from telecommunications firms about the device. Project Ophelia is slated to begin beta testing at 20 different major telecom businesses following CES, with a general release to the public in the second half of this year. 

It’s a cool idea, and it has the potential to be especially useful for enterprise businesses or professionals who are frequently on the road. Project Ophelia could make it easier to work without a laptop or to still be productive without lugging around your primary computer, although it does require some certainty about which monitors are compatible. Dell has clearly thought through the sticky issues of security, but the biggest remaining question is how easy it will be for consumers to just happen upon a free monitor to use without prior planning. 

Image via Miguel Mendez