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Singapore Airlines launches digital innovation lab

As a step toward becoming the world’s leading digital airline, Singapore Airlines (SIA) has launched a digital innovation lab, the KrisLab. It will function as a workspace for SIA employees to develop ideas and collaborate with external partners, start-ups, and established incubators.

In the lab, staff will explore technological tools and infrastructure such as blockchain, mixed reality devices, artificial intelligence, and data analytics.

Employees can submit ideas and solutions for evaluation by the digital innovation lab (DIL) team based on technological and implementation readiness, as well as market and strategic attractiveness.

Once an idea is approved, seed funding along with expertise provided by the digital innovation lab team is provided to help further develop it into a prototype, before moving to the implementation stage, SIA said in a release. They are informed within five working days if they have made it to the prototyping stage.

At present, 180 submissions have been received and 50 of them approved to advance to the prototyping stage.

Some of the plans include an augmented reality colouring mobile application for children and an inventory tracking solution. Another project involves the use of virtual reality technology to allow designers to step on board to explore or change future cabin design concepts quickly.

Also in the works is a service that will allow customers to receive notifications regarding events and deals on their phones while overseas- even if it is not connected to a mobile network.

SIA noted that its digital innovation lab team has been working with local research institutions such as the Agency for Science, Technology and Research and the National University of Singapore on research in deep-tech areas, and has support from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Economic Development Board (EDB).

The research will give it a competitive edge against other carriers in areas such as revenue management, smart seats, virtual training, and predictive maintenance for aircraft, among others.

In the release, SIA said it has also launched Learning and Innovation For Everyone (LIFE) to nurture digital mindsets in all its staff as part of the digital transformation, which coincides with the opening of KrisLab. LIFE is a three-day learning festival for SIA Group employees that seeks to celebrate and strengthen SIA’s innovative culture and encourage employees to embrace continuous learning through training and apply these new skills and competencies in their work and daily lives.

During the LIFE festival, employees can participate in workshops and attend talks by a host of industry leaders who are paving the way forward in their respective digitalisation journeys. They will also be able to experience and learn from their peers at an interactive showcase featuring digital and new technologies that are being adopted across the SIA Group, the release added.

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