S7, the Futuristic Endeavours of a Russian Airline
If you are looking for an airline, anywhere in the World, that is actively experimenting with some cutting edge technologieslook no further than Russia's S7.
To be clear, this experimentation is mostly confined to the marketing arena. But in a rather outlandish way.
S7 is pioneering the use of blockchain technology for transactions with some counterparties. The Russian airline has been using a block-chain platform set up by Alfa Bank, one of Russia's top financial institutions. This is a small scale operation, for sure, the counterparties remain unnamed for now, but it opens up a rather interesting field for experimentation. If block-chain technology becomes more common, have no doubt that, as usual, airlines will be at the forefront of innovation.
S7 is also inviting its followers on social media to explore unknown lands at the helm of space rovers, or mobile robots like the ones NASA and other space agencies use to explore other planets. From a location in Moscow's fancy and hipsterish ArtPlay area, people can take virtual command of one such robot, that is actually in an undisclosed location outside of Russia (somewhere on Earth though!). S7 has organized this activity as a quest, where participants need to move the rover around in order to find three different (hidden) artifacts. Those that succeed will get free tickets to travel on S7 network.
This is reminiscent of the Imagination Machine, another of S7's futuristic initiatives, where people were asked to control the movement of a (virtual) aircraft with their minds in order to win plane tickets.
Next to this, the Zero-Gravity music video that S7 sponsored and that subsequently became viral, seems almost too conventional!
But keep in mind that, after all, this is the airline where the owner, Vladislav Filev, left its, until now, CEO position to pursue its own space travel projects, namely the SeaLaunch project.