This guide steps you through everything you need to know about setting up NoahFace in your cafe or club.
Cafe Specific Setup
In a typical installation there are two iPads used as follows:
The customer/member facing iPad displays a welcome message and promotional content, and also provides the video feed for NoahFace. Any iPad can be used for this display, including an iPad Mini or even an iPod Touch. A minimum spec 9.7 inch iPad (32 Gb with Wifi only) is ideal. In a cafe environment, this iPad needs to be mounted in front of your point of sale. In a club environment, this needs to be mounted at your reception desk facing members as they enter. In all cases, the aim is to ensure that customers or members can be seen in the video as they approach.
The staff facing iPad is where the customer/member registration and recognition occurs. A minimum spec 9.7 inch iPad (32 Gb with Wifi only) is adequate for small cafes and clubs, but for larger cafes and clubs we strongly recommend an iPad Pro. This iPad needs to be mounted in a position where staff can see the screen while talking to customers or members.
We recommended iPad stands from Studio Proper.
Your iPads will need to be connected to your WIFI so that the video feed can be delivered between the iPads. It is recommended that you use a dedicated WIFI channel on your WIFI Access Point for maximum performance (ie: the channel should not be shared with your customers). If you are not comfortable with basic network connectivity, you may consider engaging the vendor that setup your WIFI network.
Under normal operation, NoahFace does not need or use an Internet connection. However, you do need an internet connection for:
When you first install NoahFace, you will be running with a trial license. This lets you experience the NoahFace functionality with up to 10 customers or members.
To add more than 10 customers or members, you need to purchase a subscription from the Subscription page under Settings. Subscriptions are available for Small, Medium, and Large environments (which controls the number of customers or members you can register). You can start out on a Small subscription, and later upgrade to a Medium or Large subscription as appropriate.
Subscriptions are for either one month or one year. When you purchase a subscription the expiry date will move forward by an appropriate period. You can purchase a subscription any number of times (eg: to purchase a 3 month subscription, just purchase the one month subscription three times).
You will need an Apple ID with a credit card linked to it to purchase a subscription.
Connecting your video feed from NoahFace Smile is extremely simple as follows:
That's it! If you now exit settings and return to the home screen, you will see the video feed from the front facing camera being displayed on the staff facing display.
At this point, its worth checking several things:
NoahFace Smile allows you to display general content (eg: your logo, a welcome message, an order here sign, motivational quotes, or your favourite photos) when there are no customers or members nearby, and to automatically switch to displaying promotions when customers or members approach.
Through the NoahFace Smile Settings page you can configure the sensitivity of this mode switching as follows:
When NoahFace Smile is in "Idle Mode", you would typically display your logo along with a Welcome or welcome message. Simply create an image using any drawing program, and save it to the "NoahFace Idle" photo album. This image should be saved in PNG or JPEG format, and its dimensions should be either 768 x 1024 (for portrait display) or 1024 x 768 (for landscape display).
Through the NoahFace Smile Settings page, you can also enable built-in content, including:
and control the order and speed of their display.
When a customer or member is present, you typically want to display promotional material. For example, in a cafe environment, this allows you to display:
Similarly, in a club environment, it allows you to display information about up-coming events.
To display promotional content, simply create an image using any drawing program, and save it to the "NoahFace All Day" photo album. This image should be saved in PNG or JPEG format, and its dimensions should be either 768 x 1024 (for portrait display) or 1024 x 768 (for landscape display). If you want your promotion to only run at certain times of day, simply save it to the appropriate album (eg: "NoahFace Breakfast", "NoahFace Lunch", etc).
Through the NoahFace Smile Settings page, you can control the order and speed at which your promotions are displayed, along with the start and end time of each promotional period.
To enable the loyalty system, select Settings / Loyalty, and turn on Enable Loyalty Tracking. Once you have done this, you need to configure the number of coffees that must be purchased before a free coffee is provided. For example, if you set this to 10, a customer must purchase 10 coffees and their 11th coffee is free.
There are two additional settings: Orders for Green VIP and Orders for Yellow VIP which will mark your most regular customers (in Green or Yellow) after configured numbers of purchases. This helps your new staff identify your regular customers when they enter the store.
When you first install NoahFace, it will have a default menu pre-configured. You can change this default menu to suit the requirements of your cafe. For example, some cafes will have 4 sizes of coffees (small, medium, large, extra large) and others will have only 2 sizes (regular and large), and all cafes offer a slightly different selection of drinks and variations.
You can change the menu options under Settings / Menu. In each category, you can add additional options, or select Edit to delete options or to change their order. Moving options around is important because you will want the most common options to appear earlier in the lists for efficiency of data entry.
Optimising recognition starts with ensuring you have a high quality video feed. The video feed for NoahFace Smile requires zero configuration for the majority of environments. However, there are some configuration options available as follows:
Face Detection is the process of identifying a face within the video stream. You can tune Face Detection under Settings / Recognition to make it more or less sensitive. Typically you will the Detection Threshold set to Low, Medium, or High, depending on the lighting conditions in your cafe.
If the Detection Threshold is set to Very Low, you might find that NoahFace thinks there are faces present when it detects shadows on customer’s shirts or on passing cars. In this case you will see the red “Not Recognised” square appearing where there is no face.
If the Detection Threshold is set to Very High, you might find that NoahFace does not detect faces at all. In this case, you will not get a green or red square around a face that is clearly present.
Touching the video temporarily lowers the Detection Threshold, so you can generally leave it as Medium or High, and touch the video if there is a temporarily lighting issue.
There is an additional Detect Rotated Faces setting, which allows NoahFace to detect faces that are significantly rotated. While turning this on does increase detection rates on any given video frame, it also has a substantial impact on the performance (number of frames per second that can be processed). It should therefore generally only be turned on if you have an iPad Pro with the A10X processor.
Face Matching is the process of comparing a face detected in the video with all of the faces in the customer database. You can tune Face Matching under Settings / Recognition to make it more or less sensitive.
The Matching Threshold should be thought of as how certain you need to be of a match before displaying their name and adding them to the queue. Typically you want this set at over 99%, so you minimise the possibility of identifying the wrong customer (this situation is called a “false positive”).
The Match Multiple Faces setting controls whether multiple customers can be added to the queue if the face matches multiple customers in your database (with certainty above the Matching Threshold). Typically this should be enabled. Regardless of this setting, if a face matches multiple customers in your database, you will see the orange "Not Certain" square around the face.
You can see the number of frames being processed each second displayed in the lower right hand corner of the video display. The higher this number, the better the recognition results you will achieve. This number depends on a number of factors, including: the camera (NoahFace Smile can produce up to 30 fps), your network speed, and the iPad model you are using. For optimal performance:
Note that the frames per second will drop when a customer/member is detected - this is normal and expected.
If you prefer to connect your iPad via a hard wired Ethernet connection, you will need an Apple Lightning to USB3 Camera Adaptor and an Apple USB Ethernet Adaptor. These adaptors are "piggybacked" as shown in the diagram.
If you choose not to use NoahFace Smile as your IP Camera, we strongly recommend cameras from either: Axis or Hikvision.
IP Cameras have multiple lens options. Typical cafe counters require a 4mm lens. If you have a very deep counter, you could consider a 6mm lens, and if you have a very narrow counter you could consider a 2.8mm lens.
IP Cameras have multiple resolution options. NoahFace does not require a high resolution image, and the lowest megapixel variants are the best option as they are generally less expensive.
The position of the camera is critical to success. They are typically mounted on either the top of the Point of Sale screen or the top of the NoahFace iPad, but long range cameras can also be installed on shelving behind the staff depending on the view to customers.
IP Cameras can be powered either directly from AC Power, or via a Power Over Ethernet (POE) Switch. It is generally recommended to power them via a POE switch, as this simplifies the cabling and reduces the number of power points needed.
Our recommended cameras and mounts can be found on our Accessories Page.
To connect to your IP Camera, simply press the discover button and select the camera from the list.
When you first connect an IP Camera, it is necessary to determine its IP address (its unique address on the network). While some cameras support DHCP (dynamic IP address allocation), its important that the IP address of the camera is fixed so that NoahFace can always locate it.
Most cameras come configured with an IP address in the range 192.168.1.X. If your network is setup within this range, you will be able to simply plug the camera into your network, press the Discover button, and then select your camera.
If your network has been setup with a range other than 192.168.1.X, you will still see the camera using the Discover button, but NoahFace will not be able to retrieve video from it until you change the IP address of your camera to be within your network range (eg: if your network range is 192.168.2.X, then your camera must also be of the form 192.168.2.X). To change the IP address, press the Manage button, login to the camera console, locate the network settings, change the IP address, and press Save.
Once you have entered the IP address into the Settings / Camera page, you need to enter the user name, password, and Image URL for you camera. If you are using NoahFace Smile, or a Hikvision or Axis camera, the Image URL will be automatically populated.
For other cameras, we recommend you search for your camera model on the following Web site:
You are looking for a URL for the MJPEG video stream.
To setup a Hikvision camera, press the Manage button on the Camera page, and then:
For external IP Cameras, the main controls to tune the image are the Brightness and Contrast controls that exist on almost all cameras. You should adjust these until you get a clear image.
If you have consistent lighting in your cafe, NoahFace will generally perform extremely well. However, if your serving area faces the street and you have varying backlight conditions throughout the day, this can be problematic. For best results, you need a camera with good WDR/HDR (Wide/High Dynamic Range) capabilities, such as the recommended Hikvision and Axis cameras. When tuning HDR capable cameras, you should tune the HDR first, and only then tune the brightness and contrast.
As a general "rule of thumb", if you have variable lighting conditions throughout the day, err on the side of brightening the image. That is, make sure the image is still bright at the darkest period during the day.