APEX TECH June 2018: Takeaways from Day Two

All images: Greg Verville

Day two of APEX TECH featured speakers from Aeroméxico, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Panasonic Avionics Corporation, Venera Technologies, castLabs, Amazon Web Services, RazorSecure and more. Topics addressed included cloud-based in-flight entertainment, content protection challenges, cybersecurity and personalization.


IFE in the Cloud panel at APEX TECH June 2018

Left to right: Michael Childers, Technology Committee Chair & Board Member, APEX; Fereidoon Khosravi, SVP Business Development, Venera Technologies; Dirk Ottens, Senior Manager Content & Media Strategy, Lufthansa Systems; Michale Strattman, CEO, castLabs; and Mark Stephens, Partner Solutions Architect, Amazon Web Services

A panel moderated by Michael Childers, chief consultant, Content and Media Strategy, Lufthansa Systems, provided a case study illustrating that the IFE content delivery supply chain has entered the cloud. Lufthansa Systems’ Dirk Ottens advised that participating content providers make mezzanine files available to castLabs, Lufthansa Systems’ cloud services provider, which transcodes the mezzanines to Lufthansa Systems’ delivery profile using Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) cloud platform. Cloud-based quality control using Venera Technologies is currently being trialed. Several hundred movie and TV files are processed for Lufthansa Systems by castLabs each month under a supply chain established more than three years ago. Childers believes that the cloud is the future of IFE content delivery. In a separate session in the afternoon, moderated by Andy Rosen, DSR, who chairs the APEX Advertising Delivery Working Group, the use of Amazon Web Services’ cloud services for “just-in-time” ad delivery was described.


Next Gen Content for Protection Challenges for IFE Panel at APEX TECH June 2018

Phil Watson, senior principal engineer, Panasonic Avionics Corporation; Eric Diehl, VP Media and Content Security, Sony Pictures Entertainment; Bryan Rusenko, IFE consultant; and Juraj Siska, co-founder of IdeaNova Technologies

The use of 4K and HDR content in IFE will require a higher level of content security protection, according to the new APEX 0415 Part 2 Working Group. Eric Diehl, VP of Media and Content Security at Sony Pictures Entertainment, and an acknowledged content security expert, discussed these issues along with Working Group chairs Phillip Watson, Panasonic Avionics, and Juraj Siska, Ideanova; and Bryan Rusenko, independent consultant and APEX Technical Director. The new Working Group will attempt to establish the necessary security requirements to qualify for major studio content delivery in 4K and HDR format.


Mike Bergman, Consumer Technology Association (CTA) at APEX TECH June 2018

The Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA) Web Application Video Ecosystem – or WAVE – aims to provide consistent content playback across a multitude of platforms and devices, including streaming services and video hardware. Mike Bergman, senior director, technology & standards for the CTA, outlined the progress WAVE is making in solving the challenges of getting devices to play back video properly. “We’ve got a lot of people behind this – the membership of WAVE – and we have a group of task forces working on the main areas,” said Bergman. “We have a different set of issues than when getting the video to a passenger, but there’s lot of alignment here.”


Alex Cowan, CEO of RazorSecure, at APEX TECH June 2018

“When we’re talking about cybersecurity, we’re talking about maintaining confidentiality, integrity and availability – or CIA,” explained Alex Cowan, CEO, RazorSecure. There are legislative frameworks in place to protect critical infrastructure, including aviation, rail, and utilities, but there are various standards in aviation. “They aren’t necessarily aligned with the legislation that exists. And that’s a problem,” said Cowan. Modern security, to date, requires active detection of cyber attacks and anomalies. “You typically have to add a box, which is very difficult in aviation. What we recommend is software that understands what is normal – through machine learning – and identifies anomalies through abnormal behavior. The challenge is when you’re adding more network devices to a plane, like passengers’ personal devices, you’re adding more to the attack surface.”


Dr. Dante Dionne with APEX CEO Joe Leader at APEX TECH June 2018

Dr. Dante Dionne, IT consultant and former senior manager of Innovation Techology at Korean Air, and Joe Leader, APEX CEO, gazed into a crystal ball to see what the passenger experience could be in 2038. “Wearables have now become a mainstay, but soon enough it’s going to be in everything we touch. It’s going to be pervasive,” said Dionne. “If you look at what’s being done now with bio-implants, and you start to think about 20 years from now, how do you make it so that a thought becomes a reality?” asked Leader. Dionne believes that sensor-equipped IFE systems will be able to provide information about the emotions of passengers, so that content can be tailored and delivered based on the traveler’s mood. “Screens will go away at some point – already there are haptic systems [using the sense of touch] in development that communicate by sensations,” said Dionne.


Andres Castaneda, SVP Marketing and E-Commerce for Aeroméxico with APEX CEO Joe Leader at APEX TECH June 2018

Andres Castañeda, SVP of Marketing & E-commerce at Aeroméxico has implemented a massive project at the legacy carrier, one that he sees as being a game changer for the airline industry. There are huge amounts of passenger information and data being generated in the airline’s discreet silos, such as marketing, reservations and its rewards program. “How do we want to position our brand and break down our silos to provide a seamless passenger experience?” asked Castañeda. “There is a really big opportunity to take all of the data, all of that history and interaction … and predict what’s going to be the lifetime value of a customer.” The integration of the data into a central repository, layered with advanced analytics, now gives Aeroméxico a 360-degree view of its customers, along with every passenger touch-point. “I think that with true technology and true personalization we can upgrade the passenger experience, said Castañeda.

Click here for more takeaways from Day 1.