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Internet Explorer Plugin available for “FrontFace for Public Displays”

ie-logoThe digital signage software FrontFace for Public Displays comes with a powerful, built-in browser engine that allows the seamless integration of Web pages into FrontFace playlists. The Web browser of FrontFace is based on Chromium and supports apart from HTML5 and CSS3 also JavaScript and even plugin technologies like Flash or Silverlight.

But there may be some rare cases where the integrated browser engine does not or only partially support specific but yet required Web features like special ActiveX controls for Web cams, etc.

In order to still be able to integrate these Web pages into your FrontFace playlists, you can now use the new Internet Explorer Web Browser plugin!

This plugin allows the integration of Web pages into FrontFace playlists using the Internet Explorer browser engine. It renders Web pages exactly the way as the Internet Explorer does and supports all features that are supported by the IE.

The plugin is available for free (currently as beta version, since it is still being enhanced with new features). You can download it in the download area of the FrontFace for Public Displays product Web page (click on “Show all available plugins…”). A PDF manual is also included.

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FrontFace for Touch Kiosks 2.0.0

FrontFace for Touch KiosksFrontFace for Touch Kiosks is an interactive touchscreen kiosk software that allows you to easily present any kind of content or functionality on interactive kiosk terminals in a professional way.

Typical use cases include employee information systems, info terminals for hotels and tourism, interactive museum exhibits as well as digital product catalogs and POS information systems.

Here are the most important new features and improvements of the latest version 2.0:

  • Fully reworked user interface of the Kiosk Assistant application for managing content and menu structures in a convenient way, plus many improved details.
  • The integrated Web browser has been further enhanced in concerns of security aspects.
  • Not only static PNG images are supported as menu icons on the front-end: It is now possible to also add animations as menu icons.
  • Apart from the integrated onscreen keyboard you can now also select the built-in Windows onscreen keyboard as alternative.
  • Color pickers throughout the Kiosk Assistant now store any user-defined custom colors within the project.
  • When sending exotic content formats such das XPS using the e-mail content sharing feature, these files get converted automatically to common formats such das JPEG before being sent.
  • The new demo project “Digital Product Catalog” has been added.
  • Stretching options for content files (images, videos, XPS or PDF) can now also be defined per file instead of a global setting.
  • Paging through multi page PDF and XPS documents has been improved.

Customers that are entitled to access updates and support can download the new version for free!

Prospects may download the fully-functional free demo version from the mirabyte Website!

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Free Kiosk Mode for all Windows PCs

frontface-ldt-enThe new version 1.3.0 of the free “FrontFace Lockdown Tool” is now available! The Lockdown Tool helps administrators to easily configure Windows-based PCs as protected, public kiosk terminals or for other special use applications such as digital signage player PCs that are supposed to be run unattended 24/7!

While the Windows operating system has all the features and configuration options that are needed for these special use cases, it takes a lot of manual work to configure a PC for such an application due to the fact that the required settings are “hidden” all over the system, e.g. in the Windows Registry.

The FrontFace Lockdown Tool provides all the relevant settings in a single application with an intuitive user interface. Apart from custom configurations, it also comes with ready-to-use configuration profiles for a protected kiosk mode and for digital signage applications that can be applied with only one click!

frontface-ldt-130

The new version 1.3.0 now also features a command line interface that allows integrating the Lockdown Tool into batch configuration scripts that can then be used for a fully automatic configuration of Windows-based PCs.

The FrontFace Lockdown Tool is optimized for the use with the kiosk software “FrontFace for Touch Kiosks” as well as the digital signage software “FrontFace for Public Displays” by mirabyte. However, it can also be used with any other, custom Windows application!

The Lockdown Tool is freeware and is already included in the installation packages of “FrontFace for Public Displays” and “FrontFace for Touch Kiosks”. But it can also be downloaded separately on the product Website. The software does not require an installation and can even be launched directly from USB thumb drives which makes it a perfect tool for system administrators!

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FrontFace for Public Displays 3.6.5

FrontFace for Public DisplaysThe new version 3.6.5 of our professional digital signage software “FrontFace for Public Displays” is now available. This version again brings a lot of new features and improvements that we would like to share with you!

These are the most important changes of version 3.6.5:

  • Availability of custom color values across the entire project
    If you define any custom color values in the Display Assistant (e.g. for texts, news ticker or backgrounds) these are now available persistently in the entire project and can easily be reused. This is very useful if you have custom colors defined for your corporate identity and need to access them frequently.
  • Custom screen resolutions for the preview feature
    Custom screen resolutions for the preview feature can now also be saved persistently within the project for quick access and more convenience.
  • Improved onscreen warning messages in case of errors and problems on the player PC
    In case of any problems or errors, the FrontFace player application can now (optionally) display a small notification popup that helps you to easily diagnose any problems on the screen.
  • Web pages may now also have a transparent background
    Web pages can now also be integrated with a transparent background color. In combination with the “Overlay” page layouts, this new feature opens up a huge range of new, creative design possibilities to you!
  • Placeholders can now be used also in the news ticker
    The placeholder feature that is already known from text elements in playlists, can now also be used with the news ticker bar. You can e.g. use the news ticker for a personalized welcome message for visitors while the rest of the screen can still be used for your regular content.
  • Plaintext files are now supported as data source for the news ticker
    The news ticker can be fed with custom text that is entered in the Display Assistant or by integrating a RSS news feed. Now, also plain text files (TXT) can be integrated as an alternative to RSS feeds which allows you to easily update the ticker content without having to re-publish your project using the Display Assistant.
  • Integration of AV sources (Web cams, video grabbers) is now possible without a separate plugin
    AV sources such as Web cams or video grabber cards can now also be integrated without using an extra plugin. Only when you plan to integrate live TV channels, you still require the extra Live TV plugin.
  • Improved user interface for the Calendar event source plugin
    The user interface of the Calendar event source plugin has been improved for even more convenience. Please make sure that you update your existing projects with the latest version of this plugin using the Display Assistant to take advantage of the new features!
  • Enhanced and reworked user manual
    The user manual has been improved and some new sections with valuable tips and tricks have been added.

For more information, please visit the FrontFace for Public Displays product Website!

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FrontFace Lockdown Tool 1.2.2

frontface-lockdown-toolThe free FrontFace Lockdown Tool allows configuring Windows-based PCs for digital signage applications or as public-facing kiosk terminals with only a few clicks.

System administrators can easily set up a normal Windows PC for a specialized use case without having to apply dozens of settings within the operating system manually.

The FrontFace Lockdown Tool can be used with any Windows-based digital signage or kiosk software. However, it works perfectly fine with the FrontFace for Public Displays and FrontFace for Touch Kiosks software products by mirabyte.

The latest version 1.2.2 comes with a further-improved protection of the CTRL+ALT+DEL shortcut as well as an optional feature to create Windows system restore points. So in case of problems, you can easily revert the applied changes to the system and jump back to a previous, working state.

More information and a download link for the freeware software FrontFace Lockdown Tool can be found on the product Website.

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FrontFace for Public Displays 3.6.0

FrontFace for Public DisplaysThe latest version 3.6.0 of our professional, but yet easy-to-use digital signage software “FrontFace for Public Displays“ is now available and comes with a great new feature: Event-controlled scheduling of playlists! This new feature is perfectly suited to implement applications such as digital welcome boards.

Event-controlled Scheduling of Playlists:
Apart from the common, timer-based scheduling feature of FrontFace for Public Displays, a new way of controlling playlists has been added with this release: Event-controlled playlists. Anything that is able to raise events (e.g. sensors or external systems like an Exchange calendar*) can be used to start playlists for a specified timespan. The event-based scheduling works hand-in-hand with the traditional, timer-based scheduling of playlists so that when a playlist is started by an event for a given timespan, the player application can later on “fall back” to the previously running playlist that has been started by a timer-based schedule. This makes event-based scheduling a perfect choice for implementing digital signage applications like short news breaks, notices, call-ups or ad hoc information inserts.

“Calendar” Event Source Plugin for Appointment-controlled Playlists with Placeholder Support:
By using so called “Event Source Plugins”, external systems that raise events can be easily integrated into the FrontFace software. By default we include the new “Calendar” event source plugin which adds a calendar to the Display Assistant that you can use to manage appointments. These appointments can then trigger a playlist of your choice once they become due. It is also possible to set the value of placeholder texts used in your playlists by an appointment in the calendar. So you can really easily implement e.g. a digital welcome board that welcomes visitors at your company’s site with a personalized welcome message! While the normal, timer-based scheduling is used to show playlists with general information during the time when no visitors are expected, the event-based scheduling pops up the personalized welcome message every time an appointment of the internal calendar is due. Further event source plugins will be released shortly on our Website for facilitating many other interesting use cases!

Plugin SDK is now available Free of Charge:
The FrontFace Plugin SDK allows developers to implement their own, custom functionality which can then be hosted in FrontFace for Public Displays or FrontFace for Touch Kiosks. By using the Microsoft .NET 4 Framework and the WPF technology, plugins can be developed in programming languages such as C# or VB.NET. Apart from normal plugins that can be used to integrate external data sources or systems into playlists or kiosk applications, the SDK now also provides the necessary interfaces to implement custom event source plugins so that you can also control playlist scheduling from external systems. The FrontFace Plugin SDK is now available free of charge and can be used both this trial version and the full version of any FrontFace product.

Other new Features and Enhancements in this Release:

  • Page shortcuts are now being checked for duplicates in the Display Assistant. A page shortcut allows calling up a certain page (also if marked as hidden) of a playlist when a specific key on the keyboard is pressed.
  • The overall usability of the scheduling in the Display Assistant has been improved.
  • Interacting with the Web browser engine of FrontFace by mouse, keyboard or touch now works in all cases as expected.
  • The overall compatibility of the built-in PDF viewer has been improved further.
  • Placeholders (for text elements) can now be used in playlists that are either scheduled by a timer or by an event.
  • The user manual of FrontFace for Public Displays has been reworked and now also includes a section that explains how to implement a “digital welcome board”.
  • The logging and tracing functionality of the FrontFace Player Application has been enhanced to simplify debugging in case of a technical problem.

*) An event source plugin that allows the integration of Microsoft Exchange calendars will be available shortly as a separate download on our Website. It is not included in the default setup package of FrontFace.

A fully-functional, free demo version of FrontFace for Public Displays is available for download on our Website. The update to this new version is free of charge for all customers that have a valid updates & support period for their licens!. The update can also be downloaded on the product Website.

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FrontFace for Touch Kiosks 1.5.0

FrontFace for Touch KiosksThe latest version 1.5.0 of FrontFace for Touch Kiosks, the professional but yet easy-to-use software solution for touch-enabled kiosk terminal user interfaces, again comes with a lot of new, exciting innovations: Among the native PDF support which allows the direct integration of existing PDF documents, the newly included image map feature dramatically boosts the creative possibilities of the product for creating truly customized end user experiences on touch screen-based devices.

FrontFace for Touch Kiosks allows you to compose and deploy custom front-ends for touch screen computers based on documents and media files of all types (e.g. images, videos, PDF documents and even Web pages) within seconds, enhanced by a graphical menu which enables the end user to consume the provided content in a very intuitive manner.

New Features of this Release:

Support for Image Maps and freely-positioned Buttons
Starting with the latest release of FrontFace for Touch Kiosks, it now also possible to not only arrange menu buttons freely on a wallpaper image – it is also possible to create so called “image maps”. Image maps are mouse/touch sensitive “hot” zones that serve as hyperlinks to sub-menu items or content files. By using image maps, you can design your fully-customized user interface with custom artwork and buttons of any size or shape. You could even use a photo showing different objects as a wallpaper image and make these objects then act as touchable menu items of your navigation menu which creates endless possibilities for custom-styled touch screen menus!

Native Support for PDF Documents
Besides XPS documents, Print2Screen, pictures, videos and Web pages you can now also directly integrate PDF documents into your front ends. Thanks to the native PDF support there is NO need to install a 3rd party software like Acrobat Reader on the kiosk terminal PC!

New Demo Project “Hotel & Tourism”
The new sample project shows a lot of the stunning features that FrontFace for Touch Kiosks has to offer. But it also gives an idea how hotels or anyone from a tourist-business background can create a useful and professional-looking touch screen self-service terminal that gives visitors and guests access to valuable information. Even small hotels that only have a very limited budget can now create professional, fully-sized, interactive kiosk terminals that otherwise only big hotel chains and touristic organizations can afford!

Enhanced User Manual
The user manual has been reworked and explains step-by-step how to create a professional kiosk terminal front end using FrontFace for Touch Kiosks. The manual is available both in German and English language.

Heavily improved Performance of the integrated Web Browser (with GPU Acceleration)
The integrated security Web browser now has full hardware acceleration which tremendously increases the speed of browsing Web content. Even very complex Web pages that tend slow down a normal Web Brower now run much more smoothly!

Optimized Loading and Displaying of Documents and Content Files
The visual appearance of the process when a content file such as a XPS, PDF or image document is loaded has been improved to look even better and much smoother now. Even if a very complex PDF document is loaded on an otherwise slow computer, the time it takes to load feels like nothing to the end user due to the visual loading animation and effects used.

Many Enhancements and Optimizations regarding the Kiosk Assistant
The Kiosk Assistant of FrontFace for Touch Kiosks is the command center that allows you to create, configure and customize the menu structure, the content and the visual appearance of your touch screen front end. A lot of work has been put into this software application to make it even more intuitive and to allow a maximum of productivity!

Customers that already own a license of FrontFace for Touch Kiosks and who are entitled to access free updates & support may download the new version for free.

For prospects, we offer a fully-functional, free demo version which is available on the product Web page for download.

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FrontFace for Public Displays 3.5.1

Version 3.5.1 is a maintenance update that further improves the native support/compatibility for PDF files and that simplifies the configuration of a proxy server.

In case you use a proxy server and have configured the player application for that purpose, please make sure that you read the user manual before installing this update (section “10.4 Proxy Server Configuration”) in order to make sure that the configuration will also work after performing the update. It is possible that you have to make some minor changes to the configuration file of the player application after installing the update.

Additional information, a free demo version as well as the full version for existing customers that are eligible to receive free updates & support is available on the FrontFace for Public Displays Product Website.

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FrontFace for Public Displays 3.5.0 (with PDF Support)

The latest version 3.5.0 of the professional digital signage software “FrontFace for Public Displays” again brings a huge set of exciting new features and great improvements which highly increase the possible use cases and applications of the software!

Here is an overview of the most important new features and changes in this new release:

 

Highlight: Native PDF Support
pdf
Starting with this version, FrontFace for Public Displays now supports the PDF document file format natively. This means that you can integrate PDF documents in the same way as you can integrate images, videos, XPS documents or Web pages into your playlists. Also multi-page documents are supported. Features like page transition effects that are already known from the existing XPS support are now also available for PDF documents. And best of all: On the player PC, no extra prerequisites (e.g. Acrobat Reader) are needed in order to display PDF documents!

 

Improved Hot Folder Feature with full PDF Support
Hot Folder Content Type
The popular Hot Folder feature of FrontFace that allows you to instantly integrate files from a shared network folder “live” into your playlists has been vastly improved: It now supports full automatic updates so you can simply add, delete or update files in the hot folder in order to make them appear on the screen within your playlists instantly. There is no need to republish your project using the Display Assistant. The Hot Folder feature can now display PDF documents, XPS documents, images, videos and of course HTML pages.

 

AutoRecovery
autorecovery
The intelligent AutoRecovery functionality of the player application provides a fully automatic recovery procedure in case of a problem or failure, either of the player application, a third party application or even the underlying operating system. Especially if you display a lot of Web pages in your playlists that contain large Flash movies, there is a certain risk of memory-related problems. With the new AutoRecovery feature, you can now safely run your player PC 24/7 without having to care about scheduled reboots or fiddling around with other workarounds.

 

Enhanced Weather Widget
wetter_flat_en
The design of the weather widget can now be customized even further to totally fit your individual requirements. You can e.g. set the font that is used for displaying text and select from two different icon sets (“flat” and “photorealistic”). Additionally, new layouts are available for the weather widget. You can now integrate the weather widget into very narrow containers on a screen (either horizontally or vertically) or display on the current weather conditions standalone without the 3-day forecast!

 

Customizable Ticker Font

You can now also set the font of the news ticker tape (either custom text or RSS news feeds) as well as the colors and the scrolling speed. This allows you to perfectly match also the ticker to your corporate identity.

 

Improved Screen Layout Selection

The selection drop down for Screen Layouts in the Display Assistant has been improved and is now much cleaner and easier to use than before.

 

Integration of Password-Protected Web Pages

Websites that require the user to enter a password and a username in order to access the pages can now be integrated into your playlists as well. It is possible to enter specific login credentials directly in the Display Assistant for every Web page that isembedded in the playlist. Both Basic Authentication and NTLM authentication scheme are fully supported.

 

Updateted User Manual with many new Tips & Tricks

The user manual has been updated and enhanced further. We added new chapters that deal with relevant topics such as the setup of player PCs using the free FrontFace Lockdown Tool or how to remotely administrate a player PC using remote desktop functionality.

 

Further improvements and new features in this release:

  • The browser cache can now be cleared when the player application is started
  • The user interface of the scheduling section in the Display Assistant has been improved
  • Context-based help has been integrated directly into the Display Assistant in many places
  • More than 40 improvements, enhancements and minor fixes have been added
 

FrontFace for Public Displays For more information about FrontFace for Public Displays, as well as a free demo version, please visit the FrontFace for Public Displays product Website.

Existing customers that have access to updates & support may download this new version for free directly in the customer download area!

 
Posted in FrontFace for Public Displays, FrontFace Lockdown Tool, Products | Comments Off on FrontFace for Public Displays 3.5.0 (with PDF Support)

FrontFace for Public Displays 3.4.6

FrontFace for Public DisplaysThe latest version of our professional but yet easy-to-use digital signage software “FrontFace for Public Displays” again brings a lot of exciting new features and innovations!

Here is an overview of most important new features and improvements:

 

  • New Content Type: “Hot Folder” (a.k.a. Dynamic Playlists)
    Hot Folder Content TypeThe new Hot Folder content type allows the integration of dynamic, file-based content into your playlists. By specifying a (shared network) folder that serves as hot folder, the FrontFace player automatically scans this folder for displayable content (pictures, videos, XPS and HTML files) at runtime and shows it on the screen. With this feature you can update your playlists without having to re-publish them using the Display Assistant – Simply add, remove or update files within the hot folder!

 

  • Optional Station Logo Available in all Screen Layouts
    TV Station LogoFor all screen layouts you can now define a so called “station logo”. This (transparent) PNG image is then shown permanently in the upper right corner of the screen while the playlist is running in order to mimic the effect of a station logo as known from various TV stations.

 

 

  • New Screen Layouts with Transparent News Ticker Overlay
    Transparent Overlay TickerThe new screen layouts with the transparent news ticker overlay allow placing the new ticker bar over (!) the actual content of the playlist instead of below the content. By selecting transparent or semi-transparent colours for the news ticker tape you can create stunning effects with these new layouts!

 

  • Support for LED Video Walls (Using Screen Capturing)
    Support for LED Video Walls (Windowed Mode)Many LED video walls come with a special driver software that captures the content of a fixed area of the screen of the PC which controls the video wall. This technique is called screen capturing or screen scraping. FrontFace now also supports this method by providing optional command line switches which start the player application in a windowed mode instead of the full screen mode. The size and the position of the player window can be adjusted freely.

 

  • New Transition Effects: “Slide Up” and “Slide Down”
    New Slide Transition EffectsThe transition effects for scrolling the content into the view from the right or the left side of the screen are available in FrontFace for Public Displays since version 1.0; but why are similar effects for scrolling the content from the upper or the lower side of screen not included? We have asked this question ourselves and have now also included these effects as well. By using all four slide effects in combination, you can achieve great-looking visual effects on your screen!

 

  • Support for Player Groups (Deployment of the Same Content to Multiple Player PCs)
    Player PC GroupsIt is now possible to also set up player groups in the Display Assistant. You can easily assign playlists or complex schedules to Player groups. This helps to save a lot of manual work when working with multiple player PCs in a network that are supposed to mostly show the same content.

 

 

  • Additional new features and improvements:
    • You can now skip specific player PCs or player PC groups when performing a publishing operation in the Display Assistant.
    • The user manual (PDF) for integrating live TV channels into playlists has been revised and updated.
    • Possible conflicts in the scheduler are now reported during the publishing process.
    • The behaviour of scheduled triggers regarding their priority has been improved further.
    • The digital signage screensaver feature (for use in combination with interactive kiosk software) has been improved.
    • The support for removable USB and SD drives for performing offline updates of player PCs has been enhanced further.
    • Playlist pages that are marked as ”hidden” or that have a time-based visibility are now highlighted in the Display Assistant for a better overview.

Download the free trial version of FrontFace for Public Displays and try out the new features by yourself!

Posted in FrontFace for Public Displays, Products | Comments Off on FrontFace for Public Displays 3.4.6
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