Every day our researchers comb through the top innovation headlines and provide their expert analysis on important updates, trends, and developments across 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 first week of February below.
SpaceX's ride-sharing program offers inexpensive solution for smallsat companies like Planet and Satellogic to launch satellites
Miraj Mainali, Research Associate | @aivanberkel
Lux Take: Very Important
"SpaceX's first dedicated smallsat ride-sharing mission, Transporter-1, deployed 143 satellites into orbit, which is the most ever on a single mission. Among those were 48 SuperDoves from Planet (Lux Take: Strong Positive) that are equipped with improved eight-band multispectral cameras. Similarly, satellite imaging company Satellogic (Lux Take: Wait and See) also announced switching its launch vehicle from Chinese, European, and Russian vehicles to SpaceX's. By using reusable rockets, SpaceX manages to reduce the price fivefold on a per-kilogram basis. Such a discounted price has made SpaceX an unrivaled launch partner that will continue to make satellites more accessible for imaging and communication applications."
Shell complements EV charging business with acquisition of Ubitricity
"Shell announced it will acquire 100% of Ubitricity, which provides on-street electric vehicle (EV) charging by repurposing existing city infrastructure like street lamp posts. Through previous acquisitions, Shell has been opening doors to different markets in which electric mobility plays a role. In 2017, Shell acquired NewMotion to target residential and workspace EV charging; later in 2019, Shell acquired Greenlots to expand into charging network infrastructure management and to support Shell Recharge fast charging stations. With oil and gas giants making moves into the power sector, electric mobility investments and acquisitions by these major corporations not only make sense, they are essential."
ExxonMobil launches ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions; plans to invest $3 billion in carbon capture projects globally by 2025
AutoX is the first autonomous vehicle company to provide fully driverless rides to the Chinese public
NSF awards SBIR grant to Innovasonic for automatic touch screen disinfection
"With this new funding, Innovasonic plans to expand its scope from self-cleaning to disinfecting pathogens, a timely move given the COVID-19 pandemic. If successful, the use of ultrasonic touch screens will enable an automated, nontoxic, nonodorous method of disinfecting surfaces. However, traditional ultrasonic cleaning does not necessarily sterilize objects, as viruses and spores can remain on the surface. Innovasonic will need to offer a product innovation beyond only its core technology to prove the feasibility of the project."