I would be very grateful for some advice regarding a project that I am working on. I am trying to build a hardware prototype that would be used to display information about schedules. I work at a university and we currently print out the room schedules on the friday and then someone goes around putting them on the doors of the rooms.I believe this is wasteful since the university has over 300 odd rooms and the papers schedules are pretty useless since the schedules change and they don’t get printed ( for e.g. a class might be scheduled for a thursday this week and booked on the monday … it won’t get printed since the schedule was made up on the previous friday) and the papers are in any case only used for the week.
Instead I was wondering if we could use a small LCD display to display what class or meeting is being held at the current time but also show the weekly schedule via a touch screen interface. IF possible I would also like the touchscreen to let students see the lecturer associated with the class and a brief summary. I have little or no hardware experience though I am a decent .NET programmer. I was wondering if the FEZ Spider would do the job as far as the hardware is concerned for this project? Ideally I would like the hardware to have Wifi capability to connect to our database and retrieve the timetable, a 7 inch touch screen to display the weekly timetable, nfc reader to let the students login using their ID cards. Power connections would be another issue since the panels would be attached to the doors or the adjoining wall. Is there any way I could use a solar panel to power the device? Is this project even feasible? What components would I need to make this work? I have looked at some of the components from ADAfruit like the Solar LiPo (http://www.adafruit.com/products/390) and the PN532 Board for NFC. What I can’t figure out is if they would work with FEZ Spider. Also I am not sure if I can get a bigger touchscreen panel instead of the included one?
I would very much appreciate any advice at all. As I mentioned I am a complete noob when it comes to hardware and I am pretty much doing this in my own time and I don’t have a huge R&D budget otherwise I would have hired an experienced electronics engineer to build a prototype for me.