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Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up July 17, 2020

Lux Research
July 17, 2020

Everyday our analysts read through the latest innovation headlines and provide their analysis on important industry updates, developments, and trends. Our experts 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 top emerging technology and innovation news, including our researchers' coverage of technologies and strategies as they relate to the global pandemic below.

Noninvasive glucose monitoring company Movano moves out of stealth with $10 million in funding

Danielle BradnanDanielle Bradnan, Research Associate @DBradnan Ico twitter
Lux Take: Truly Disruptive


"Movano's design levels up the consumer centric glucose monitor put out by Apple a year ago by making a truly noninvasive continuous glucose monitor that is also sleek and stylish. The consumerization of healthcare has long been a trend, and Movano is fully leveraging that trend with a solution that reduces the literal consumer pain point of a finger stick to zero and also looks good to wear. Movano is also starting with a model that offers continuous readings, which taps into another key healthcare trend of diagnostics that favors continuous measurements over discrete points as clearer biomarkers. Those interested should monitor this company's offerings for regulatory approval and track its progress against close competitor DiaMonTech."

WatchOS 7 will add new health and fitness features based on device synergy of Apple Watch and iPhone for data collection over time

jerrold wangJerrold Wang, Analyst | @jerroldwang Ico twitter
Lux Take: Truly Disruptive

"WatchOS 7 will evaluate users' overall health and fitness through new mobility metrics like low-range cardio fitness, stair descent and ascent speed, and six-minute walk distance. These metrics are typically measured in a lab or hospital setting, but Apple is still able to extract useful insight on the metrics because of their method of data sensing over time jointly conducted by Apple Watch and iPhone. Companies should pay attention to the health feature update in WatchOS 7 because other players like Google and Samsung may leverage similar methods to add health features in their device ecosystem, which will open up new opportunities for developers of personal health and fitness products and services."

Rivian raises $2.5 billion, as one of the few EV startups to do so without going public

Robinson, ChristopherChristopher Robinson, Senior Analyst | @CRobinsonLux Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important


"With three vehicle launches slated for 2021, the funding should be enough to see Rivian reach production with its SUV, truck, and delivery vehicle for Amazon. Unlike its peers in the EV space, Rivian has chosen not to go public looking for funds. A surge in investor enthusiasm for EV stocks has led to all-time high valuations for Tesla and Nio, tempting others – such as Nikola Motors, Li Auto, and Fisker – to pursue raising funds through the stock market. With strong strategic backers and adequate funding required to reach commercialization, Rivian is one of the few startups likely to survive consolidation."

Kering is adopting regenerative agriculture and other sustainability initiatives for net-positive biodiversity by 2025

drishti masand

Drishti Masand, Research Associate | @DrishtiMasand Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important

"The fashion industry is the latest to be scrutinized for its lack of sustainability, forcing brands and companies to make pledgesstart developing new materials, and form consortia to share sustainability initiatives and appease consumers. Kering's latest announcement only includes €5 million ($5.7 million) for the new goals, which is an insignificant amount for Kering, and plans to convert 1 million hectares of farms and rangelands in its supply chain into regenerative agriculture by 2025. It is unclear if the funds will be sufficient to complete all the goals, or if this pledge is a marketing strategy for the company to continue making announcements of adding more money and simply maintaining a "sustainable" image."

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Peptide and pigments offer up novel citrus greening treatments

Haslun, JoshJoshua Haslun, Ph.D., Senior Analyst | @JHaslun Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important

"Two interesting crop protection agents emerged with possible applications for citrus greening this week. The most exciting is a peptide developed at the University of California, Riverside. Isolated from a lime variety, it establishes a prolonged plant immune response to greening. It is safe for humans, temperature-stable, and claimed to be easily manufactured. UC Riverside closed a licensing contract with Invaio, Flagship's alternative crop protection venture. The second, from TerMir, is a light-activated xanthene dye-based pest control platform. Little is known, but the solution is novel and recently won a $100,000 innovation prize. Companies, focus on the promise of peptide platforms, and expect Invaio to push a product offering through."

U.S. Department of Energy forms two new National Lab consortia, invests $100 million in hydrogen and fuel cell research and development

Benjamin Torda

Benjamin Torda, Research Associate
Lux Take: Very Important

 

"The DOE will allocate $100 million over five years to advance hydrogen and fuel cell technologies research and development. One consortium will conduct R&D on large-scale electrolyzers – with the goal of supporting large industry deployment. The second consortium will conduct R&D to accelerate development of fuel cells for heavy-duty vehicle applications – with the goal of demonstrating a fully competitive heavy-duty fuel cell truck that can meet industry performance requirements. Companies should realize this research looks to boost both hydrogen supply and demand, a key to stimulating hydrogen's role in myriad future applications, and signals growing interest in low-carbon hydrogen in the U.S."

PepsiCo's new IoT sparkling water maker may shape the beverage industry through personalization

jerrold wangJerrold Wang, Analyst | @jerroldwang Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important

"This appliance, called SodaStream Professional, brings beverages to offices, campuses, and travel hubs. Offering a personalized experience, the appliance not only allows users to customize flavors, carbonation levels, and temperature in drinks but also syncs with a phone app to record users' preference, drink history, water intake, and daily hydration goals. If PepsiCo can solve consumers' hygiene concern in public areas, the appliance has potential to shape the beverage industry, given that personalization features can drive user satisfaction and that user engagement may build user lock-in to disrupt the current beverage sales channels. For these reasons, those providing consumer products should monitor the deployment of this appliance."

U.K. accelerates the start of e-scooter trials

Chad Goldberg  Lux ResearchChad Goldberg, Research Associate
Lux Take: Very Important


"Citing mobility concerns and unprecedented levels of walking and biking due to COVID, the U.K. government has agreed to move forward the start date for legal e-scooter trials in the country. This comes in part based on the country's $2.5 billion package that seeks to facilitate alternative modes of transportation and help move people off public transport in response to the pandemic, but anecdotes continue to amount in support for micromobility in the face of COVID, as New York City recently legalized electric bikes and scooters, and company Spin made headlines for expanding to Europe. Though public transit and ride-hail companies have suffered throughout COVID, micromobility continues to gain traction as a viable alternative for commuters." 

Shipping emissions to be added to the EU carbon market in 2021

Yuan-Sheng Yu_2014_150px

Yuan-Sheng Yu, Senior Analyst | @808sAndInnovate Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important


"The European shipping industry will be included in the EU emissions trading system in 2021 with a target of reducing emissions by 40% by 2030. This is more aggressive than the IMO 2050 roadmap, which aims for a 50% reduction by 2050 and comes on the heels of the EU Commission proposing for well-to-wake assessment for the shipping sector. This will be a significant step toward promoting low-carbon fuels in the coming years. One key aspect is the launch of the Ocean Fund, where revenue from the ETS will be reinvested into the sector for incremental improvements in efficiency, likely related to the EEDI and SEEMP targets set by IMO. Those interested should see an uptick in momentum in shipping decarbonization from Europe as predicted earlier this year."

Microsoft partners with Samsung to create digital twins for smart buildings and real estate

Harshit SharmaHarshit Sharma, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance


"
The partnership will see Samsung's smart devices, such as smart TVs and HVAC systems, combine with Azure to create digital twins for optimizing operations, maintenance, and energy management. Although details around specific use cases were not disclosed, Microsoft did mention the twins will interface with Dynamics Field Service to automatically identify the nearest and most skilled technicians for urgent maintenance work. The first pilot deployment will be at the National University of Singapore campus. Companies should be cognizant that although digital twins have become mainstream for the energy and infrastructure industries, they have yet to penetrate smart buildings due to the lack of a clear cost-to-benefit ratio for their deployment."

Swedish pharmaceutical company launches two digital therapeutics in U.S. for treating opioid disorder

Danielle BradnanDanielle Bradnan, Research Associate @DBradnan Ico twitter
Lux Take: Average Importance

"Historically, digital therapeutics have been developed by independent startups – and shared with pharmaceutical companies through partnership agreements. However, as these therapies become more commonplace, pharmaceuticals are developing more digital therapeutics to complement their chemical medicines in-house. This suggests that the digital therapeutics landscape is on the precipice of consolidation, and the smallest of the startups will not be able to compete with the resources of the pharma giants. Established players like Pear Therapeutics will continue strong due to selectively chosen partnerships, and companies looking to acquire digital therapeutics should look to moderately sized to established startups for their portfolios."

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Amazon to launch smart carts as checkout-free solution in one of its grocery stores

jerrold wangJerrold Wang, Analyst | @jerroldwang Ico twitter
Lux Take: Average Importance

"Using a QR code to connect to users' accounts, the smart cart uses computer vision to identify items placed in the cart. It also has a built-in scale to weigh the item if needed. It's interesting that Amazon is launching a smart cart rather than expanding Amazon Go. As one possible reason, compared with Amazon Go, smart cart-based solutions have stronger ability to handle complex cases with diversified shopping items and a large number of shoppers. Companies should monitor the progress of Amazon's smart cart. The solution may take hold in complex environments like grocery stores and supermarkets. Amazon may also follow competitors like Imagr in using a smart cart and phone app to engage with shoppers for product and deal recommendations."

Floating wind to reach 70 GW by 2040

Seoane da Silva, PatriciaPatricia Seoane da Silva, Research Associate
Lux Take: Average Importance


"A new summary report from Carbon Trust forecasts floating wind's capacity to reach 70 GW by 2040. Most of this growth is expected to occur in Asia (31.8 GW) and Europe (28.2 GW), followed by the U.S. (9.8 GW). Floating wind has seen a sharp gain in momentum during the past five years, reaching a cumulative capacity of 73 MW. While most of these projects have been single-turbine demonstrators and pilots, the next decade will see a transition toward pre-commercial and commercial projects, which will be key for reducing the elevated capex of the technology. Companies should monitor developments in Asia (particularly Japan and South Korea) and Europe, and expect parallel innovations related to lifting solutions or dynamic export cables."

NBA plans to use ultra-wideband sensing to maintain social distancing, showing how the technology can help business amid the pandemic

Lisheng GaoLisheng Gao, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance


"NBA will adopt ultra-wideband (UWB) ranging and locating sensing technologies provided by Kinexon on its campus to help maintain social distancing between players and staff. The sensors are UWB-enabled real-time locating systems (RTLS). Maintaining social distancing accurately amid the COVID-19 global pandemic is vital to prevent the spread of disease and keep personnel safe; fortunately, emerging technologies like UWB sensing can help. Kinexon's UWB RTLSs are promising and essential tools for this purpose. Still, companies need to be aware that 1) the tools are more effective in large spaces with reduced capacity for the use described here, and 2) ROI may be justified easily only if bringing back staff is essential for the business."

FueLNG launches Singapore's first LNG bunkering vessel

holly havelHolly Havel, Research Associate
Lux Take: Low Importance


"FueLNG, a joint venture between Keppel O&M and a subsidiary of Shell, has indicated that the construction of Singapore's first LNG bunkering vessel is running smoothly and is on track to be completed by the end of 2020. The 7,500 m3 LNG bunkering vessel will feature several design improvements to enable high maneuverability, compatibility with a wide range of vessels, and fuel consumption optimization and will support Singapore's ongoing efforts to drive adoption of LNG while maintaining its position as a leading bunkering hub. While FueLNG may be the first to launch a LNG bunkering vessel in Singapore, it will not be alone for long considering recent deals between Pavilion Energy and Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions.

HeiQ's new COVID-19 antiviral coating launched in March – is it too good to be true?

drishti masand

Drishti Masand, Research Associate | @DrishtiMasand Ico twitter
Lux Take: Ignore

"HeiQ Materials launched its "Viroblock NPJ03" coating that claims to be effective for the COVID-19 coronavirus with 99.99% reduction of the virus on textile materials; the coating was launched and internally verified in March, and the company has partnered with nine startup brands for reusable face masks. The coating is silver-based, which usually has good antimicrobial properties, but that does not guarantee antiviral properties. The performance has not been verified by a third party or approved by any health agency; companies should ignore such unsubstantiated claims, as they seem to be more focused on marketing and taking advantage of the situation."

How safe would face masks with built-in UV sterilization be?

drishti masand

Drishti Masand, Research Associate | @DrishtiMasand Ico twitter
Lux Take: Ignore

"A new startup called UVMask has developed a face mask with built-in UV-C sterilization that it claims can neutralize 99.99% of bacteria, viruses, pollution, and particles; the company has raised $500,000 through Kickstarter. The mask is an interesting idea but it is also unnecessary for protection, with all health agencies emphasizing that simple cloth face masks are effective for preventing spread. There would be high risk with UV radiation being that close to the face, and the long-term effects are unknown; with all of the risk factors, this solution seems unfeasible and unnecessary. Companies should ignore announcements like these and focus on sustainable materials or end-of-life processing technologies for face masks and other PPE." 

 

 

 

FURTHER READING:

- Free Access to our COVID-19 Resources

- Blog: Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up June 10, 2020

- Press Release: Over $5 Billion in Investments Focused on the Home Energy Management System, According to Lux Research

- Executive Summary: Back in Business: Using Technology to Open During COVID-19

- Executive Summary: Digital Therapeutics

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