I'm exploring the possibility of setting up a thin client to connect to the console sessions of it's host.
Here's some background for what's going on and motivating the request. I'm working with some professors from the Education department at the college where I work on design for a couple new classrooms. The professors planning the design for these rooms want to promote instructional models that differ from the traditional lecture format. There will be a "smart" podium in the room for the instructor, and one of the goals for this classroom is to allow this smart podium to be more mobile, to give the instructor more freedom. All of the desks tables will also have wheels, to allow for quick classroom reconfiguration, so the podium could end up most anywhere in the room. With that in mind, I'm trying to minimize the number of physical connections you need to make this smart podium actually work.
One idea I'm exploring here is to have a fixed physical computer in a cabinet off to the side, connected directly to the audio and display equipment. The computer may be running Windows Server, or something by, for example, Citrix. Then the smart podium would have a Wifi-enabled thin client. If I can make this work, then the podium will only need power, and we already have outlets built into the floor at various points. Everything else will run through the physical PC off to the side, and the thin client will make that connection over wireless.
The problem here is that, for this to work, I need to ensure that the thin client is connected to the console session on the host, without blanking it out, so that the displays (also looking at a dual-display setup in the room: one traditional projector and one smartboard) connected directly to the host will match what the instructor is doing at the podium. Any ideas on how this can work? I only have very limited thin-client experience, and we don't currently have any others in use here.
The other ideas I looked at were to use a usb-to-wifi display adapter (I'm not thrilled with the reliability/quality of these devices) or to have a wireless keyboard and mouse, and use an Android tablet in kiosk mode setup with an app to act as external monitor for a fixed PC. That would get rid of wires in the podium entirely (except to charge the tablet overnight), but the instructors didn't like this. They somehow want the podium itself to be "smart", and this doesn't fit their buzzword. I believe a thin client would feel to them enough like a real computer to be "smart" where a mere terminal did not. There were also some concerns about display quality, lag, and reliability, with the tablet model, though I believe those could be addressed.