Something Interesting is Going On at PXCom!


For the past three or so years we have known PXCom’s Cyril Jean and from a personality point-of-view, he is one of the nicest in the industry. Lately, he has been on our radar as a potential industry tree-shaker. Let us explain.

While he has been in our industry, Cyril has towed the straight line when it comes to the application of entertainment content for the travel industry- specifically as we know it, inflight entertainment content and information solutions. In the past, he and his company have been looking into a ‘more evaluative solution’ …our words, not his. By that, we mean, his solutions have been (till now) standard inflight entertainment and travel destination related. However, we recently got an interesting press release and Infographic from PXCom that got our attention on the Personalization Cycle.

In the link, it noted “Now it’s time to take traditional screens already built into passenger seats and bring them into the digital revolution. With new available technologies, these screens have become an actual digital media with the capacity of communicating directly with each passenger’s smartphone. This is a revolution that offers incredible opportunities!” which really caught our eye. Not only does the piece poo-poo the old pop-up window advertising concept, it outlays a new concept for that process that focuses on ‘personalized message content’“People more readily accept ads that are targeted to their immediate situation. If not, the advertiser risks being permanently blocked by an ‘ad-blocker’. In other words, all of the marketing tools being developed are currently focused on personalizing message content.”

“In this environment, PXCom has launched a research program aiming at creating a model to personalize services depending on the destination. This model takes into consideration the latest technology available in current passenger entertainment systems, and anticipates future evolutions.” We had to find out more, so we contacted PXCom’s chief, Cyril Jean and asked a few questions:

1. IFExpress Did you develop this yourselves or did you use an outside source?
Cyril: We developed PXCom-bound topics by ourselves. Our goal with this infographics and article is to try to federate the IFE stakeholders. As you can easily understand PXCom alone cannot do anything. This personalization cycle involves the IFE manufacturers’ teams. And yes, we are already exchanging with some of them on that topic.

2. IFExpress: Is this new concept considered an adaptive technology?
Cyril: Software experts will answer no, since we do not use adaptive algorithms. Yet, we can consider it is ‘adaptive’ since the weights of the factors change with the pax usages. (Editor’s Note: Cyril told us that personalization data companies like Google, Facebook or Tripadvisor are far-ahead of the IFE industry when it comes to personalization and we have to agree.)

3 IFExpress: This is the first of this technology we have seen for IFE, is that correct?
Cyril: Correct.

4. IFExpress: Please describe how this concept (or the software) works?
Cyril: Well, it’s all about data gathering and the core software is on the back office for data matching.

5. IFExpress: Can you give an example of how a user would input their preference or is there another way to get the preference data for the computer?
Cyril: A simple example is:
· Flight 1 : you browse the destination guide and open some “Arts Galleries” points of interest.
· Flight 2 : You’re flying to NYC, and the IFE has included in your “Personalized Selection” the latest exhibition at the MoMA (+ a skip the line offer), and the latest art gallery sponsoring its property.
· Flight 3 : The system is informed that you’re flying with your kids, and you find in your “Personalized Section” a special offer for LegoLand.

6. IFExpress: I say ‘computer’ but I really don’t know what I am talking about? Can you give a bit more info about operation?
Cyril: It’s all about the pax profile. Far more easy to implement with BYOD IFE. Regarding seatback screens, it mainly works thanks to the Companion App. Since the players (Airlines, IFE Manufacturers, PXCom) can access your inflight profile, everything can be stored in the IFE server, and downloaded/uploaded once the aircraft lands for back-office batch processing. The only intelligence which has to be loaded onboard the IFE server is PXCom’s software in order to match the factors.

7. IFExpress: I assume the passenger preference is determined by some pax-system ‘testing’ in the front end of the trip… but I do not have clue how the pax interaction with the system works. Can you help?
Cyril: The system records the browsing path, favorites selections and booking options for each flight. These records are used for the next flights.

8. IFExpress: What, exactly then, is the passenger profile?
Cyril: Our PAX profile relies on a list of characteristics as described in our infographics. Each point of interest/destination activity is tagged according to the same mapping. The platform operates the matching between the tags in real time.

9. IFExpress: How is it determined? Do passengers input any personal data so your system can determine ‘what they want or like’?
Cyril: Our platform’s requirements feature a special module enabling passengers’ inputs. Yet, there is currently a paradox well described in this article.

As explained in this article, pax are not ready to share personal data, except on social networks. Hence the solution may be found in partnerships with companies whose core business is social data gathering & analysis. In the “on-the-ground” world we are at the dawn of personalization-driven marketing. Passengers no longer understand a technological gap between on-the-ground and In-flight technology. Hence, the IFE industry has to listen carefully to the trends which are arising.

Inflight media has always been considered a premium relying on the sole quality of its affluent & captive audience. The IFE industry has an absolute opportunity to maintain this position… for the airlines’ ancillaries sake.

10. IFExpress: Is there any interest by airlines?
Cyril: To be fully transparent for the moment we do not exchange much on that topic with the airlines. They know what our goals are and agree with that, but the immediate future is to provide pax with our innovative services.

11. IFExpress: Is there any test being done by an airline… and what is the airline interest?
Cyril: It is far too early. Yet, I know that some players such as SITA OnAir have both technology and agility to perform this with PXCom.

12. IFExpress: What do advertisers say?
Cyril: Guess what? They love it, of course. Advertisers are more likely to pay when they have the ROI insurance. And such personalized offers are in the current marketing trends. PXCom “mission” is to participate in transforming the IFE from a tactic media (global broadcast of ads) to a strategic media (promotion of extremely targeted ads) focused on destination-related services.

Finally, Cyril told IFExpress: “PXCom is currently studying some partnership proposals with major retailers and big brands of fine delicacies in order to onboard the service in the early 2016. The competitive edge for these brands relies in PXCom solution’s portability from one IFE platform to another without any additional development.” Stay Tuned!

For more information, you might contact Cyril  and
in conclusion, it might be interesting for the APEX or AIX crowd to consider a new discussion/research category – The Personalization Cycle?


1) AIX 2016 will welcome more than 50 new exhibitors for the first time, along with long standing exhibitors including Airbus, B/E Aerospace, Boeing, Panasonic and Zodiac Aerospace. It will be taking place as always in Hamburg, from 5-7 April, with the Passenger Experience Conference on 4 April.

2) Recently, we got an interesting letter from Boeing retiree, Bob Bogash about his efforts in the aviation safety area. Now we know, this is an InFlight Entertainment and Connectivity newsletter but Bob’s research into aviation safety is complete, data driven and available to read on his website.
When we asked about his data accuracy and his “recent” piloting certification, he responded: “I just report the FACTS, as derived from public documents, and where I give my opinion, I state it as my opinion. As far as “recently obtained pilot skills” goes, I got my Pilot’s License on July 15, 1964 and have been flying for 51 years”… Sorry Bob!

3) Hah! You thought we made a mistake in last week’s edition of IFExpress when we quoted the Gogo 2Ku flight test speed trial at 5 to 6 GB/sec… but you knew the answer was higher than it should be, yes 5 to 6 Gb/sec is correct. Our readers were tested and here is the first “winner” to note the discovery – Peter Lemme. And thank you for your input!

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