Dell Wyse Project Ophelia Turns TVs Into Computers

The device, slightly larger than a USB memory stick, enables users to convert any capable TV or monitor into an interactive personal display without a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Technology giant Dell took the wraps off one of its most ambitious projects to date, the ultra-compact multimedia-capable device, the Wyse "Project Ophelia," which is slightly larger than a USB memory stick and enables users to convert any capable TV or monitor into a functioning interactive personal display device without using a computer, tablet or smartphone.

The device allows users to access photos, music or video from a personal cloud or entertainment subscription when away from a PC, smartphone or tablet. Additionally, the technology is designed so road warriors can securely access and share work applications, presentations and content if they are away from their usual devices or if those devices are lost, stolen or damaged.

Built on the Google Android 4 operating system to support Web browsing, social networking, media playback and Android Apps with a possibility to extend to other services, the device securely connects to Windows desktops and applications running on back-end systems from all infrastructure providers, including Citrix, Microsoft and VMware.

"People are increasingly requiring access to digital content while on the go, in both their work and personal lives," Tarkan Maner, vice president and general manager of Cloud Client Computing at Dell, said in a statement. "Mobile devices have small screens, tablets and PCs aren't always convenient to haul around, and all these devices require batteries that can run down. Project Ophelia turns capable TVs and monitors into personal and reliable WiFi-enabled work or entertainment stations—all managed easily by IT via Dell Wyse Cloud Client Manager."

The software as a service (SaaS) solution provides over-the-air configuration and policy management of corporate and user-owned client devices through a single, intuitive console. The technology is designed to ensure the device is being used by the appropriate person with the right permissions and access to apps and content based on role, department and location.

The zero-battery device gets power from the attached display monitor through its mobile high-definition link (MHL) interface to the monitor's MHL port, or separately via its own USB interface, and also boasts integrated WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities that allow the user to connect a keyboard and mouse.

"Project Ophelia could provide an essentially populist technological bridge that successfully addresses both the increasing complexities of blending work and home life in the developed world, and providing easy access to information, entertainment and educational resources in a wide variety of other markets," Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT wrote in a research note.

"Project Ophelia achieves this through a combination of portability, flexibility and affordability; the device is small enough to carry in a pants pocket, has no moving parts, is compatible with most any HDMI-capable [High Definition Multimedia Interface-capable] flat-panel monitor or TV, and Dell representatives noted that it will be priced aggressively," King wrote.