I will stress immediately that there is a level of technical about this that is pretty much over my head, but this LOOKS at least like another interesting development in the whole anything-but-a-PC quest that has led to some 40 Android digital signage solutions out there.
Dell has released its long-awaited HDMI Android dongle, a gizmo previously codenamed as Project Ophelia. Now it is known as the Wyse Cloud Connect dongle, a $130 gadget that can either run virtualization technology and give users a remote client version of a Windows or Mac desktop, or can act stand alone, as far as I can tell, as a full Jelly Bean Android playback device. The latter means, again from my limited knowledge of this stuff, that the Cloud Connect unit can turn a flat panel monitor into an Android device and run apps from the Google Play app store, which has all kinds of digital signage apps.
The unit has specs that are in line with most of the Android boxes out there right now – the ARM A9 being very common. Dell even specifically calls out digital signage as a use application.
So why this and not some of the other HDMI dongles out there? Well, the big thing is that it is Dell and not some company from Shenzen that’s completely unfamiliar. I’ve had a couple of terrible Dell laptops in my past, but the company was solid on getting problems fixed when they came up. Try that with a company 12 time zones apart, and in another language.
The down side is that it is not particualrly powerful and if there is not dongles with better graphics capabilities, there will be soon enough.
Think I might order one …