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CES: Dell Wyse details pocket Android thin client for mobile workers

08 Jan 2013
Dell Wyse Project Ophelia Android thin client device

Dell's Wyse subsidiary is readying an Android-based device the size of a USB memory stick that can be connected directly to a TV or monitor, enabling users to securely access corporate applications from locations such as hotel rooms.

Currently dubbed "Project Ophelia", the device is set to ship sometime in the first half of this year, and will allow mobile workers to access applications without having to lug around a bulky laptop or tablet.

"It's really designed to give you a decent-sized screen for running corporate applications, without having to carry everything round with you," Dell Wyse EMEA marketing director, David Angwin, told V3.

However, the device could also be used to equip workers who move frequently between fixed sites, those who need secure access to corporate resources, or even for consumers to access cloud-based services, according to Angwin.

"If you're in a hotel room with a TV and internet, you know you have secure access with this [device]," he said.

Based on the Android 4.0 platform, the device is designed to connect to a TV or monitor via a Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) connector, through which it can also draw power, or be powered via a USB port.

Network connectivity is via Wi-Fi, with Bluetooth also supported so that a wireless keyboard and mouse can be connected for user input.

Although the device is set to ship with built-in clients for Citrix, VMware and Microsoft to enable workers to log into a remote Windows session, it can also be used for much of the same tasks as an Android tablet, including browsing the web and social network access, and users will be able to download apps from Google Play.

For enterprises, Dell Wyse provides the cloud-based Cloud Client Manager service, which enables administrators to control user access to applications and other corporate resources from devices running Android and Apple's iOS platforms, as well as Dell Wyse ThinOS and Zero Client terminal devices.

However, Dell Wyse also sees an opportunity for telecoms providers to offer such a device to subscribers as an access point for web-based services they can connect to a flat-screen TV in their living room.

The exact name for the new device has yet to be decided, and Dell Wyse did not disclose any hint of how much it may cost when released.

Dell acquired Wyse Technology last year in a move to bolster its end-user computing portfolio, especially in the virtual desktop arena.

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Daniel Robinson

Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.

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