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Touch Menus: Back to Home Page & Digital Signage Screen Saver

In this tutorial we will show you two very helpful features for your interactive touch menus with FrontFace: The “Back to Home Page” function automatically returns the menu to the start page if a user leaves the terminal without clicking “Home” button on leaving. With the screen saver feature, you can supply your kiosk terminal with additional, moving content when there is no interaction and usage.

Back to Home Page

When a user leaves the terminal without returning to the start page of the touch menu, a certain period of minutes can be defined after which the system automatically returns to the top level menu of the touch menu when there is no more interaction.

To configure this setting, open the settings dialog of the touch menu:

Here is the “Interaction Timeout” setting. Set the desired duration (e.g. 15 minutes). This ensures that the menu returns to the start page after 15 minutes without interaction.

As a result, a subsequent user can start the navigation directly from the main menu level (“Home Screen”) and does not have to manually click the “Home” button first.

Digital Signage Screensaver

Especially for interactive systems such as kiosk terminals, it is desirable to display appealing, moving content on the screen (e.g. advertising or specific calls for action) when the system is not being used interactively. You can easily create an individual screen saver with FrontFace:

First create a playlist (in addition to your touch menu), which will serve as screen saver.

Here you can insert any media objects, for example pictures, videos, slideshows, web pages or texts. In addition, with the help of a suitable screen layout, you can also add static overlay text or even scrolling text with a call for action (CFA) such as “Tap here for more information …” or “Please touch the screen!”.

Then switch to the “Scheduling” section in the Assistant and activate the “Advanced Scheduling”. Then click on the + icon in the “Event Sources” list to create a new event source.

Click on “Install a new event source plugin” and select the plugin file for the screensaver. This is named “Screensaver.ffapx” and is located in the “C:\Program Files\mirabyte\FrontFace\Plugins\” folder.

After installing the plugin, select it and click OK.

Finally, you specify the number of minutes and the previously created playlist as a screen saver:

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„Welcome, Mr. John Doe!“ – Digital Welcome Screens and Reception Boards

Personalized welcome boards and reception screens for greeting visitors or customers in companies are a great idea, but there are a few things to consider when implementing them!

A flat-screen TV is screwed to the wall behind the reception desk, a mini-PC is attached, and the digital reception screen is ready to welcome visitors! – Sounds easy, but it is not quite that simple, because there is an important additional consideration. If the answer to the question of how the content management is accomplished is “PowerPoint,” it will instantly become clear how difficult and inflexible such a setup is. Automatic start? Edit content? Scheduling? Calendar integration? A scrolling news ticker would also be nice – but unfortunately none of that is possible!

This is where the “FrontFace” software by mirabyte comes into play: With FrontFace, professional reception and welcome screens can be easily set up and display any kind of content without much effort. In addition to general information about the company, e.g. image videos or brochures in PDF format, time-controlled or ad hoc, personalized greeting messages for visitors or customers can be displayed. (“Welcome to our company, Mr. Doe!”). Through these specialized displays, a friendly and open atmosphere is created right at the first contact with the company!

To trigger the welcome messages, FrontFace can also integrate external systems, such as a calendar from an Exchange server or a Lotus Domino server. SharePoint, iCalendar/ICS and Excel are also supported as external data sources. This allows for maintaining the entire system conveniently using applications such as Outlook.

FrontFace supports the integration of many different content types, e.g. scrolling news ticker tapes, clocks, websites, the current weather conditions, daily news and QR codes that can be displayed on the screen in combination with other media.

The arrangement of the contents, the management of the hardware and the content scheduling is done using the convenient FrontFace Assistant, a Windows application that can be installed on any conventional PC.

For a quick start, mirabyte offers a free, fully functional trial version, as well as tutorial videos and a step-by-step quick start guide for setting up a reception screen – available at the product website: https://www.mirabyte.com/en/frontface/use-cases/digital-welcome-board.html

The FrontFace software is offered as a permanent license and is licensed per player PC (welcome screen). The price of a license is $599.95 USD. To connect external systems, e.g. Exchange Server, special plugins are also available.

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NEW: FrontFace 4.1 – with Support for Interactive Kiosk Features

With FrontFace‘s latest release 4.1, the merger of our previous products “FrontFace for Public Displays” (Digital Signage Software) and “FrontFace for Touch Kiosks” (Kiosk Software) has now been completed into a unified product.

With FrontFace, you get a universal standard software solution that enables you to realize classical, non-interactive digital signage applications such as advertising, information or reception screens, as well as interactive touch-screen applications such as employee information systems, self service kiosks or information terminals.

Even mixed forms from both applications are also possible with FrontFace: For example, you can implement an interactive touch screen menu and install a traditional, sequential playlist with multimedia content as a “screen saver” that plays when there is no interaction at the terminal.

Thanks to the new layout technology introduced with FrontFace 4, you can now freely design your interactive menu interfaces and use layouts for both playlists and touch menus.

Existing customers of FrontFace for Public Displays or FrontFace for Touch Kiosks can upgrade for free to the new FrontFace 4, if they are eligible for updates & support.

For prospects, there is a free, fully functional trial version available as well as quick-start tutorials, including one for the new, interactive functions!

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NEW: FrontFace 4.0 – Digital Signage & Kiosk Software

The new version 4.0 of our Digital Signage & Kiosk software FrontFace is an entirely new development from ground up and brings countless improvements and innovations over our previous products “FrontFace for Public Displays” (digital signage software) and “FrontFace for Touch Kiosks” (kiosk software).

However, the most significant change is that both the primarily non-interactive features of FrontFace for Public Displays and, soon, the interactive touch-menu capabilities of FrontFace for Touch Kiosks will be available in one single product: FrontFace 4.

Thus, both classic digital signage applications, and interactive kiosk systems, as well as mixed types of both, can be implemented with a single, powerful system!

In the first step, we implemented the functionality of FrontFace for Public Displays in the new FrontFace 4. In addition to that, we have significantly expanded and improved the entire product. In a second step (around late summer 2019), the touch functionality will be available in FrontFace 4 as well as part of an update.

By the way: FrontFace for Public Displays and FrontFace for Touch Kiosks will not be discontinued but will continue to be available to our existing customers. So you have the choice of whether you want to continue to work with the product you are used to, or whether you want to switch over to the new FrontFace 4. The upgrade is free of charge for all customers that are eligible for updates & support! For existing customers, we have also created a FAQ with all the questions and answers dealing with the new version!

Download the free trial version of FrontFace 4 and find out how easy and simple it is to get professional digital signage applications up and running. Create your own playlist with just a few clicks! But despite the simple and intuitive usage, also more demanding users get their money’s worth: With the new layout editor you can visually create without any programming knowledge, your own screen layouts very easily. In addition, the powerful scheduling provides everything you need to have your content displayed automatically.

Thanks to the integrated plugin interface, you can even extend FrontFace with your own, custom functionality if required!

And as always with FrontFace: No SaaS (software-as-a-service), no running costs or subscriptions and the installation of the complete software is done locally in your environment! You have full control!

Free trial version and quick start video tutorials

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Important Update for the Integrated Weather Module of FrontFace

FrontFace for Public Displays and FrontFace for Touch Kiosks include an integrated weather chart module that can show the current weather conditions and a 3-day forecast for any place on earth. The data source for this module is Weatherunderground.com (a company of “The Weather Channel”).

Weatherunderground.com has been recently acquired by IBM and the new owner has decided to shut down operations by 31-12-2018. Therefore, after this date, the weather module will not be able to show data anymore!

We have now migrated our service to a new weather data provider. Therefore it is required that you update your FrontFace installation to the latest version to allow you to continue using the weather module as before (Installation of the latest version of FrontFace on all PCs where FrontFace is being installed!).

Please notice: It is required that you once again set the location for the weather module after installing the update. Otherwise, the weather module will show information for “New York” or another major city in your region as default.

All customers that have a valid updates & support subscription get the update, as always, for free. If your updates & support subscription has expired, please consider a renewal if you want to continue using the weather module in the future. A renewal can be purchased in the online customer account section of our Website.

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