Each day our researchers go through the top innovation headlines and provide their analysis on important updates, trends, and developments across all industries. Our analysts evaluate news based on potential importance ranking the developments from Truly Disruptive to Ignore.
On Fridays we highlight our Lux Take on the news for the week. Check out our thoughts on the latest emerging technology and innovation news for the final week of August below.
Nio's "battery-as-a-service" model is the most promising battery leasing model yet
Christopher Robinson, Senior Analyst | @CRobinsonLux
Lux Take: Truly Disruptive
"Although electric vehicles are competitive on a total cost of ownership basis in most regions, high upfront costs are still a barrier for many potential customers. Attempts to decouple the costs of the battery and the costs of the vehicle are not new, as Renault has offered a similar battery leasing option on its Zoe. The two reduce the vehicle cost by roughly $10,000 and are leased for between $100 and $150 per month. However, Nio's battery swapping network offers more flexibility to introduce new battery chemistries and allows customers to change their battery size while owning the vehicle. For these reasons, and the fact that it is bringing in partners to help finance the business, companies should view Nio's announcement as favorable."
Facebook moves to monetize on VR experiences
Vladimir Roznyatovskiy, Ph.D., Senior Analyst | @roznyatovskiy
Lux Take: Very Important
"Facebook's updated terms for Oculus VR headsets require all new users to use a Facebook account for login and will force all existing users to do the same after 2023. Not surprisingly, the community voiced their discontent with the policy update by a tech giant already known for questionable practices around safeguarding users' data. The move is not only about the promise to better integrate all the Facebook services and provide seamless access to a VR experience but also the beginning of a long-term strategy to capitalize on users' behavior. Comprehensive tracking of user activity is the source of better advertisement targeting – the main source of the company's revenue. A potentially better approach is to do the same but be open about it."
Voodoo Manufacturing permanently closes all 3D printing services due to COVID-19
"Voodoo Manufacturing was one of the hundreds of service bureaus that focused on low- to mid-volume part production using desktop and desktop professional 3D printers. Recently, it used its assets to produce protective shields to help fight COVID-19 and finally decided to close its services permanently due to the global pandemic. Lux expects that 3D printing service bureaus with strong technological capabilities will survive, but companies like Voodoo Manufacturing with low-value part production services will face difficulties in generating revenue in the next few years and will have to close their doors."
GM commits to 5G connectivity in all 2022 Chinese Cadillac models
University of Manchester spins off membrane separation-based coating company Molymem
"Manchester University has spun off a new startup – Molymem – which will focus on developing a 2D coating using chemically modified molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) for filtration and membrane technologies. The company claims the coating can be retrofitted to membranes or added to new membranes. The coating should improve the robustness of membranes during cleaning cycles using harsh chemicals at a low cost and make the membranes less prone to fouling. Molymem is expected to target applications in pharmaceutical and food and beverage separations as well as wastewater treatment sectors. Those interested should monitor Molymem's progress, as little is known about the performance of the coating.
California blackouts are a sign of poor resource planning, will accelerate large-scale energy storage deployments
Lidar company Luminar to go public with a reverse merger