You may have already heard some of the buzz around Project Ophelia, which was previewed at CES in Las Vegas earlier this month. If not, a quick introduction might be helpful: Dell Cloud Client Computing has created a cloud client in a device a little bigger than a USB stick - which can turn a monitor or compatible TV into an access device for corporate systems or personal applications and data. It’s built on Dell Wyse software technology already in use on millions of devices – but the difference here is that it can be used to transform that big display in your living room, hotel room or meeting room into a display device for cloud –based apps, communications, content and your own personal cloud. All of this in a low-cost, tiny device that works pretty much anywhere you have access to a capable display. Add a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and you’re looking at a pretty powerful package for a very low cost. 

Rather than physically carrying one’s data around on a hard drive that’s attached to a significant amount of client computing power, a weighty, breakable display and a finite battery supply, the device provides fully secure access that can be modified or (if stolen or lost) revoked at any time by an administrator.

Example uses might include consumers who want to get access to cloud-based games or content without relying on a tablet or laptop, online gamers that want to use displays larger than a typical PC screen, highly mobile professionals or affordable terminals for cloud access providers.

How does this work for Dell Partners? If you are already familiar with Dell Cloud Client Computing Cloud Client Manager, then some uses will be obvious. A company can equip its entire workforce with the ability to work from home – or anywhere, frankly – at a low cost. Something that might appeal to organisations that found a snowbound workforce was out of commission because the cost of laptops could not be justified for every employee. Retail managers could carry their content with them around the sales floor, logging in as needed. As a service provider, your organisation might want to provide customers with Project Ophelia devices as a portable gateway to the cloud services you provide them.

I’m expecting we will see Project Ophelia put to all kinds of good uses in the hands of Partners and their customers – be they business users or consumers – or, for that matter, both. I can’t wait.