ViewSonic is rolling out a new "classroom in a box" solution in partnership with Microsoft that should reduce both hardware and power consumption costs.
For starters, ViewSonic is basing this solution on its MultiClient scalable system, which can power up to 10 full user stations with monitors using just one host PC.
ViewSonic offers the example of having a classroom of 30 students. Using ViewSonic's MultiClient solution, a full classroom can be powered by only three PCs rather than having a PC for each student.
Microsoft comes in with its Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 platforms. Thus, teachers can be able to do the following:
- Manage and monitor activity on each student's computer
- Share one screen across the board
- Lock screens and keyboards
- Control individual program access and restrict Internet browsing
ViewSonic promises that this solution will deliver "a technology-rich computing experience for every student at a cost educators can afford," which likely will be true over time - especially when it comes to electric bills and such. Nevertheless, there are a few additional costs up front.
That includes the ViewSonic MultiClient VMH700 Host PC and Displaylink VMA10 MultiClient Adapters to connect monitors with peripherals (i.e. keyboards and mice), which will cost $999 and $55 per adapter respectively. Both of those items will be available starting in July.
UPDATE: The original press release incorrectly stated the availability information. The correct pricing and launch timeline is as follows:
The ViewSonic MultiClient VMS700 Host Server and VMA20 MultiClient LAN Adapter will be available in August 2011 for respective estimated street pricing of $1299 and $175 per Adapter, including necessary Microsoft software licenses.