Citrix Systems and Open Kernel Labs this week released the “nirvana phone” reference, which they claim will turn hypervisor-based smartphones into thin-client connection devices, essentially letting users convert their smartphone into their desktop.
The Nirvana Phone will deliver Citrix virtual desktops over a Wi-Fi or a 3G connection through video output, hardware, drivers, a Citrix receiver, and a micro hypervisor. To complete the desktop experience, the phone will also connect to an external keyboard, monitor and mouse.
Citrix claims the connection is secure as the device receives encrypted video commands, not actual data, and the Citrix Receiver is contained in a secure virtual machine running on the micro hypervisor.
While Citrix won’t be making the actual phones, they are teaming with vendors to manufacture devices capable of displaying a virtual desktop on a large monitor at a decent resolution, as well as a means of delivering the desktop, which may be via Bluetooth or a docking station.
Though the device is not set for release until next year, IT professionals are split on its usefulness. Some point out that once the smartphone is plugged into a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, it loses its phone functionality. Also, where there are keyboards and monitors, there are usually PCs and Internet connections.
Others disagree, suggesting that while the Nirvana Phone will not replace the laptop, it will offer increased flexibility for the business user. Also, any lack of phone functionality can be overcome through Skype, landlines, or IM.
Open Kernel Labs has released a video showing a prototype “Nirvana Phone” in action: