Dell’s Ophelia to Join Google Chromecast in Dongle Market
Dell reportedly is shipping a beta of Project Ophelia, which is about the size of a USB storage device and can turn a TV into a cloud-based computer.Dell, just days after Google introduced its Chromecast “dongle” users can plug into televisions to get streaming content, reportedly has begun beta shipments of its own mini device, dubbed Project Ophelia. First introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show 2013 in January, Ophelia is slightly larger than a USB storage device and, when inserted, can turn a TV set into a cloud-based computer. The idea is to essentially let users carry their computing device in their pockets, and then access it by plugging it into an HDMI port in a television set or monitor. Not much about Project Ophelia has come out from Dell since its unveiling at CES, but the company now is reportedly shipping beta models to developers, with the plan to introduce a commercial device in the third quarter, according to PCWorld. At a time when sales of traditional PCs are slowing down worldwide as consumers and business users turn more of their attention and tech dollars to smartphones and tablets, system makers like Dell are looking for new form factors that will interest buyers in an increasingly mobile, always-connected world. The dongles from Dell and Google also are coming at a time when Apple and Intel are looking to make moves into the TV market, via such devices as set-top boxes.
Apple already offers the $99 Apple TV, through which users can access content from their iOS devices that is shown on their own televisions.