The Digital Signage and Kiosk Software FrontFace consists of two components, the FrontFace Player App (available for Windows-PCs and Android devices) and the FrontFace Assistant, which can be easily installed in any existing environment:
Installation Types and Content Distribution:
FrontFace runs on premise in your environment (not SaaS!). The FrontFace Player App is installed on your player PC(s) and devices which are connected to your screens or touchscreen terminals. In addition to controlling and playing the content, the FrontFace Player App also takes care of securing the system.
You can play out the content (called "publishing") from your workstation PC using the FrontFace Assistant to the players in different ways, depending on your requirements and possibilities:
All-In-One (Standalone Installation)
This setup installs the FrontFace Player App and FrontFace Assistant on one single PC. If two monitors are connected to the PC, one can be used for content playback while the other can be used for normal work. - This is ideal for reception areas, if hardware costs are supposed to be kept as low as possible!
In the Local Network (direct)
This is the most common installation option: A dedicated player PC (for example, a mini PC) is updated via the local network (using a Windows network share) from the workstation PC using the FrontFace Assistant (via LAN or WLAN). After publishing, the player PC runs completely autonomous and even withstands network failures or malfunctions without problems!
In the Local Network (with Server)
Between the player PC and the workstation PC with the FrontFace Assistant, a conventional file server (for example, a NAS) is switched. Again, the transmission takes place via the normal Windows network. The advantage of this installation option is that you can still publish even if a player PC is not turned on or cannot be reached in the network temporarily.
Over the Internet (Cloud)
If the player PC and the workstation with the FrontFace Assistant are in different locations and each of them has an Internet connection available, instead of a network share, a cloud storage service such as Dropbox, OneDrive or OwnCloud can be used to transfer the content.
Over the Internet (Web Server)
A conventional web server (e.g. Apache, nginx, etc.) can also be used to transfer content over the Internet. The workstation computer with the FrontFace Assistant then uploads the content to the server via FTP(S) or SFTP (SSH) and the FrontFace Player App downloads the data via HTTP(S). No additional software needs to be installed on the web server!
Offline (using USB Thumb Drive)
If neither local area network (LAN / WLAN) nor Internet is available or a player has to be operated offline due to ridgit security policies, updating can also be done offline using a USB stick. Simply insert the USB stick into the player PC while it is running, wait a minute and you're good to go! The FrontFace Player App automatically handles content updates from offline media.
An overview of all features and the differences between the Windows and Android versions of the FrontFace Player App can be found in the feature overview matrix.
Content & Visual Presentation:
Supports all Multimedia Content: Images, Photos, Videos and Audio
The software supports all common image and video formats (PNG, JPEG, WMV, MP4) and is able to adjust the content according to the actual screen resolution. Audio files are supported as well. Additionally, you can integrate both audio streams (e.g. Internet radio) and live video streams.
Native Document Integration: PDF and XPS
Integrate any PDF or XPS document easily into your playlists with a single mouse click. Documents with multiple pages are supported, too – including transition effects! Furthermore, you do NOT have to install any prerequisites such as Acrobat Reader on the player PC for displaying e-paper content! FrontFace has its own, native PDF viewer engine.
Slideshows with Motion Zoom Effect
The optional Motion Zoom effect makes static photos look more dynamic and vivid by automatically simulating fluid camera panning (zoom & pan)!
Formatted Text (with placeholders)
Text can be added directly and can be combined with images, videos and other media. Several rich text formatting options are available such as bold, italic, text color and font. Optional placeholders allow updating certain text elements even by inexperienced users! The optional MotionFX effects let you animate or highlight text elements in your presentations.
Print2Screen: Import HD Content from any Windows Application
You can use any Windows application that is able to print to create high-quality HD display content. FrontFace comes with a virtual printer driver for this task. Thanks to the vector-based content format, any Print2Screen content looks great no matter what resolution or orientation your display has!
News Ticker (RSS and custom text)
The built-in news ticker can display any custom text or RSS news feeds from the Web (e.g. news headlines). In addition to that, a plain text file (via HTTP or network share) can also be used as source for the news ticker.
FrontFace is able to display entire Web pages including all common multimedia features. The integrated zoom feature allows displaying even normal Web pages on a large screen in full size! Interaction with Web pages is also possible either on touch screens or when a mouse is present. Apart from the integrated, modern, Chromium-based browser engine, you can also opt to use the Internet Explorer browser engine for legacy Web pages!
Weather Chart (current conditions and forecast)
The built-in weather module can show the current weather conditions and a three-day forecast for any location in the world (live). Colors and design of the weather chart can be fully customized.
Flexible Navigation with Buttons
For interactive applications you can create nested menus and navigation structures with customizable buttons, your own icons (incl. support for transparency) and text labels with ease! Buttons can be either aligned automatically or manually on the wallpaper.
Unlimited Design Options: Image Maps
If you need even more design options for creating your own, custom-styled menus and front-ends, you can also use Image Maps instead of buttons. Image Maps are mouse / touch sensitive zones which are defined on the wallpaper image in order to allow navigation in the same way as normal buttons would do!
Fully Customizable Graphical User Interface
The built-in themes and designs allow you to easily customize the look and feel of your graphical user interface. Even advanced modifications and customizations (e.g. alignment to your corporate identity) are possible!
Split Screen / Screen Layouts
A screen page can also host multiple media objects. A large variety of predefined layouts is available for this purpose but of course you can also create your own, individual layouts. The built-in visual layout editor allows you to create custom layouts conveniently!
Eye-Catching Transition Effects
The included, hardware-accelerated transition effects help you to create eye-catching multimedia presentations even with static content such as text or photos.
Hot Folder (Live Integration of Files)
The Hot Folder feature allows you to integrate files from shared network folders "live" on your screen. Updating content is as easy as adding, overwriting or deleting files without having to use the FrontFace Assistant. This is perfect for content that is updated frequently like schedules, company or production data as well as up-to-date information of any kind. Supported file formats: PDF, XPS, pictures, videos and HTML.
You can configure complex schedules that define when you want to automatically show certain content. It is possible to define intervals for repetition in order to program the display exactly to your requirements (no manual work!). FrontFace supports both time- and event-based scheduling which allows the integration of external event sources such as sensors or calendars of external systems.
Support for Plugins
It is possible to easily add any kind of custom functionality you might require using the free Plugin SDK. This allows you to integrate external data sources (e.g. Web Services) or special types of visualization. Plugins can be used like any other type of media object (e.g. picture, video, Website, etc.) or can be used to trigger the display of content.
Integration of Apps and Applications
Integrate any Windows application to allow access to custom functionality or reuse existing (specialized) applications without any further customization directly on your kiosk terminal.
Integration of Live TV Channels
The Live TV Plugin (sold separately) lets you integrate TV tuner cards (DVB-T, DVB-S or DVB-C) that can be used to show live TV channels. Due to the extensive support for TV tuner cards you can even integrate pay TV channels (may require additional, special hardware).
Live Calendar Data (from Outlook, Lotus Notes or Excel)
The Calendar Plugin (sold separately) allows you to display calendar data, schedules and/or room occupancy plans. The (live) data can be provided as an Excel file, as a Microsoft Exchange calendar (via EWS = Exchange Web Services), SharePoint calendar, using a Lotus Domino Server (Lotus Notes) or any iCalendar (ICS) data source.
The screensaver is specifically for interactive applications. If there is no interaction with the system for a defined period of time, a playlist is started to display the content you have configured for this case. As soon as someone uses the touchscreen, the mouse or the keyboard, the playlist is stopped and the system can be used interactively again.
Multi-Language Support (virtually any language)
You can create your content and the user interface in any language you want (also languages with non-Latin charsets are supported, such as Cyrillic or Chinese!). It is also possible to provide multi-language content and to offer a convent way for the user to switch between languages while the software is running.
Optional User and Content Tracking
With the help of the optional Analytics Plugin, user interactions and the actual playback of content can be logged. In addition to the possibility of integrating the free open source tracking software "Matomo" (formerly "Piwik"), the raw data can also be saved as CSV and then evaluated with tools such as Excel or Power BI. This way you can easily see which content your users are accessing and which navigation paths they prefer to use!
Special Hardware & Screens:
Multi-Player / Multi-Screen Support
You can use the FrontFace Assistant software to operate an entire display network with multiple screens and player PCs. It is possible to attach more than one screen to a player PC and to display the same or different content on these screens.
Mixed-Mode Operation: Desktop PC with Output on 2nd Screen/TV
It is also possible to install the FrontFace Player App on a normal desktop PC and show the content on a 2nd screen attached to that PC. This way, there is no need for an extra player PC and your regular applications can still be used on that PC without limitations (perfect for reception desks or doctor's offices with a TV screen on the wall!).
The Click2Zoom function allows you creating interactive, digital notice boards in no time: A click or tap on a Click2Zoom-enabled media object displays it in full-screen mode, including support for extended interaction (e.g. flipping through multi-page PDF documents)!
Video Walls and LED Video Walls
With FrontFace you can also operate LED video walls that use screen capturing as well as segmented video walls that consist out of multiple screens that are stitched together. You can either address these screens separately with different content or the entire wall as one big screen!
Optional Onscreen Keyboard
This feature allows the user to enter text (e.g. on Web pages) even if your kiosk PC does not have a physical keyboard.
Interaction with Special Hardware (barcode scanner, key pads, RFID)
Using FrontFace interactively is not only limited to touch screens. You can also use special hardware for interaction such as barcode scanners, external keyboards or key pads or RFID readers. You can protect certain content and make it only available if a given RFID transponder or barcode is scanned or you can assign specific content to buttons on an external key pad to appear when the button is pressed by the user. We can also help you find the right hardware for these applications.
FrontFace Assistant and FrontFace Player App for Windows:
- Any PC with Windows 10 or Windows 11 (both – Embedded versions and normal version are supported as well as 32-bit and 64-bit editions)
- .NET Framework 4.8
- Recommended: LAVFilters video codecs (for video playback)
- Support for any display(s): All screen resolutions and orientations (landscape/portrait) are fully supported, incl. Full HD and 4K. Touchscreens are supported as well!
FrontFace Assistant and FrontFace Player App on macOS:
- When used with Parallels ("Print2Screen" is not available when using Windows 11 ARM!)
FrontFace Player App for Android:
- Android 7.1 ("Nougat", API Level 25) up to Android 12.1 (API Level 32) including AOSP flavours
- Android tablets, Android TV (both, integrated or as separate media player), Android mini PCs and media boxes, Amazon Fire TV
- Support for any display(s): All screen resolutions and orientations (landscape/portrait) are fully supported, incl. Full HD and 4K.
- Due to the very diverse hardware and heavily adapted Android versions by the device manufacturers, we strongly recommend to carry out a comprehensive test on the desired device beforehand!
FrontFace Lockdown Tool
The free FrontFace Lockdown Tool
helps to configure a Windows PC as digital signage player PC or secured kiosk terminal with only one click. The Lockdown Tool is already included with FrontFace (also in the trial version) and there does not require to be downloaded separately!