Dell Research Works at Intersection of Technology, Customer Needs
Menon also pointed to the work Dell Research is doing to grow the company's Enterprise Mobility Management portfolio, which is designed to offer seamless manage a broad array of endpoints—from smartphones and tablets to notebooks and desktop PCs—as well as apps and content to help businesses deal with the challenges presented by an increasingly mobile workforce and bring-your-own-device (BYOD). Organizations can leverage a single portal for managing their entire mobile environment. As part of the mobility management effort, the group is working on technology that will automatically switch users from WiFi to broadband when needed without any interruption to the reception or app being used. At the same time, the technology will be able to take multiple connections and automate all of them, Menon said. Users need to be able to stay connected, "no matter where you are," he said. Another project Dell Research is working on revolves around security and continuous authentication. The Dell Research team is looking at developing algorithms and leveraging machine learning to create technology that will enable devices to authenticate a user based on a range of characteristics that are particular to the user. "We don't type the same way," Menon said. "The way one person swipes [on the computer screen] is different from the way someone else swipes. The force of the typing is different."The research work at Dell is being drawn from a number of sources, Menon said. Dell Research has a dedicated group of researchers—he won't say how many—that touches on each of the company's businesses units. In addition, research teams within each business unit also contribute to the work being done by the research team. Dell also is going outside of the company, working with universities on various research projects. It all creates a broad research environment, and one that is supported throughout the company, he said. "We've got the people we need," Menon said when asked about Dell's commitment to research. "If I wanted to grow, no one would tell me not to grow."
Using the technology being developed by Dell researchers, a device could learn how a particular person types, how hard they hit the keys and how they swipe their fingers across the screen as a way of authenticating the user, he said.