Could SAS be the world’s most innovative airline? Well, the Scandinavian Airlines have never been shy about being at the forefront of new technologies, trends and markets. This time round their most recent venture is centred around how new technologies can be used by SAS travellers. In doing this, SAS partnered up with the Swedish startup Neue Labs. As we have learned here at FashNerd.com the biggest steps in innovation can be made through collaborations.
Such ideas have come to life in their recently launched SAS Lab which gives SAS access to digital capabilities that will help accelerate its innovation. Heading the lab is Massimo Pascotto who shares, “Innovation is doing something radically different that has an actual impact. Without impact there is no innovation.”
Boasting the most downloaded App on the Nordic App Store and Google Play, you cannot help but be taken in by SAS’s genuine drive for new technology. They seem to be an airline that comes up with the kind of ideas that are all about making travel simpler for their frequent travellers. So on that note, what is the company working on now? Well, they have a new concept in the works which is based around the ‘no need for bag tags in the future’.
They are currently developing an EBT (Electronic Bag Tag). The small electronic device will be designed with new screen technology that is bendable and operates on low power. Cheap to produce, the device easily connects to your smart phone and can be permanently attached to your luggage so you don’t really have to think about it. Once attached, the tag displays a bar code image and the itinerary of your the trip, so when you get to the airport the EBT allows you to simply leave your luggage at the baggage drop-in centre.
Continuously developing some radical ideas for the future of travel, SAS has also started experimenting with rings and wristbands that can be used to pass through security, access lounges and board a plane. But the idea that had us going “ohhhh” was their recent experiment with microchip implants. In order to see whether the product works, an SAS Lab worker tested it out by injecting a microchip containing his EuroBonus identity under his skin. He became the first passenger to board a plane by just raising his hand. An exciting progression, but Pascotto did confirm that at this moment in time they are not looking to pursue implantables.
Something that could be a possibility for SAS is palm scanning. Based on palm vein image scanning Pascotto confides, “If fully implemented, passengers could go through the boarding gates with just a palm scan.” Now wouldn’t that save us a lot of time.
With so much innovation in development, the environmentally-conscious airline SAS are truly proving to be the pioneers of aviation. Their strength is in being able to see the potential of new technology and the power it has to unleash new opportunities. SAS does not follow trends, they instead imagine the kind of future that will allow them to always stay at the forefront of innovation.