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Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up May 8, 2020

Lux Research
May 8, 2020

Every day our analysts comb through major industry headlines and provide their analysis on developments and trends in the news. Our researchers evaluate news based on potential importance ranking developments from Truly Disruptive to Ignore.

Each Friday 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 tech and strategy as they relate to the coronavirus pandemic.

Uber's lifeline to Lime includes capital and its Jump subsidiary

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

"While Jump's estimated $60 million per quarter losses were in part due to continuous investment activity, the move supports the expectation of consolidation in an industry hard-hit by COVID-19. However, the key takeaway is that Uber will retain its presence in the space, even if in a nonoperational capacity, as Lime scooters can now be booked via the Uber app, an integration that lends to the company's intent to facilitate multi-modal transportation. While the full extent of the partnership is not clear, the capital injection and transfer of Jump's business operations enable Uber to offload liabilities yet remain active, with an increased equity stake, in an industry that they see promise in and that complements existing services."

Anonymized smartphone data can be used to predict COVID-19 spread as shown in Nature study

Danielle Bradnan Lux ResearchDanielle Bradnan, Research Associate @DBradnan Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important

"In a collaborative study, researchers at Yale University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong have shown it is possible to use anonymized cell phone data to create a model for predicting the location and speed at which new outbreaks will occur. As the economy slowly reopens in many parts of the world, this predictive capability has the potential to more efficiently determine the optimal location and length of future lockdowns to curb the virus. While this technology is best for population health management at a policy decision-making level, clients should be monitoring for the adoption and use of these models to help plan for future closures and possible disruptions in the supply chain."

International research collaboration develops MOF for biobutanol recovery from ABE

Drishti Masand - Research Associate at Lux Research

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

"The team has successfully developed and tested a hydrophobic metal-organic framework (MOF) based on copper ions and carborane. This is one of the first MOFs to extract desired components in liquid solution; the development of this MOF structure is very promising, as it demonstrates the possibility of MOF adsorption from a liquid state. Companies interested in MOF technologies and in need of adsorbents should continue to monitor MOF research and developments from academia as more research groups design useful MOFs for gas applications as well as MOFs for liquid solvent applications."

Powercast and Liquid X collaborate to develop washable and wirelessly chargeable electronic textile

Jerrold Wang Lux ResearchJerrold Wang, Analyst | @jerroldwang Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important

"The textile's traces are based on Liquid X's stretchable and washable conductive ink that can be printed directly onto a garment. Components mounted onto the traces include Powercast's wireless charger chips and a tiny battery, which are sealed in a waterproof package. The textile has two interesting features. First, it can endure more than 100 wash cycles, and users don't need to detach electronic and power components before washing. Second, the textile can be wirelessly charged when put into a closet together with a Powercast RF transmitter. Companies should closely monitor the two companies' collaboration because the electronic textile can monitor well-being and motion without user behavioral change in apparel washing and storage."

Mycroclean develops washable, sterilizable carbon fiber composite face masks

Anthony Vicari Analyst at Lux ResearchAnthony Vicari, Analyst 
Lux Take: Very Important

"Clean-room protective clothing developer Mycroclean has developed a mask containing 1% carbon fiber and 99% polyester that is washable and sterilizable and that filters 99.8% of bacteria as well as 95% of particles as small as 100 nm. The company has already received orders for 30 million masks. This is a simple, low-cost way to repurpose existing technology and production capacity or use in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic."

Intel acquires transit app Moovit, adding mobility services to autonomy technology

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

"Intel is quick to tie Moovit's multimodal route planning application to benefiting its autonomous driving technology developed through Mobileye. Mobileye's current products serve near-term markets, as its EyeQ chips power ADAS systems in 60 million vehicles and recently has focused more efforts on Level 4 systems. As many use cases for Level 4 autonomy are in commercial sectors like robotaxis and shipping with those system, a navigation and routing component will be a valuable addition to Mobileye's current technology. Additionally, the value of Moovit's data likely factored into the decision to acquire the company."

Pharma giant Roche gets Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 antibody test

Danielle Bradnan Lux ResearchDanielle Bradnan, Research Associate @DBradnan Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important

"The Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) comes at a time when governments and businesses are calling for tools that will allow for the reopening of economies. Antibody testing is a powerful tool for understanding the spread of a disease and the percentage of asymptomatic individuals who have been infected, and as a check for how well mitigation strategies have worked. However, there is still a lot of data that is lacking in terms of what the presence or absence of antibodies means for industry. It is unclear if the presence of antibodies conveys immunity, and if so, for how long. Organizations must understand that antibody testing is a tool for informing population health policy decisions, not a magic bullet that will allow businesses to reopen."

Gatik upgrades its autonomous middle-mile fleet to box trucks

Josh Kern Analyst Lux ResearchJosh Kern, Analyst | @josh_kern_ Ico twitter
Lux Take: Average Importance

The autonomous delivery company, which focuses on fixed routes between distribution centers and retail stores, has upgraded its fleet from Ford Transit Connect vans to box trucks ranging from 11 ft to 20 ft long. The move came as Gatik saw an increase in customer demand, along with requests for temperature-controlled deliveries for items like groceries. The company has carved out a niche in the autonomous vehicle space, where many companies focus on last-mile delivery, long-haul trucking, and ride-hailing. The increase in Gatik's vehicle size will make it more difficult for the company to acquire testing permits in certain geographies that have more stringent regulations around heavier trucks."

Single-cell protein sees interest from Skretting

13463-thumb-squareLaura Krishfield, Research Associate | @LKrishfield Ico twitter
Lux Take: Average Importance

"UniBio recently announced the testing of its SCP ingredients with major aquaculture producer Skretting. The project, planned for completion within 10 months, will involve testing the protein with multiple marine species among fish and shrimp. The news suggests a potential partnership between the two companies if testing results are positive, but UniBio may require additional funding to scale up. Skretting already has partnerships in the alternative feed ingredients space with algal oil supplier Veramaris and insect protein producer Protix – both of which have scaled production. That said, Skretting is weighing its options to guarantee supply. Companies may want to plan for new fish feed formulas that include a bit of algae, insect, and SCP."

India's new approval process for foreign investments will likely stall the country's recent startup boom

YuanSheng Yu Photo_edited

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

"The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade issued a new policy requiring government approval for foreign financial transactions, specifically for countries bordering India, in an effort to prevent exploitation of Indian companies during the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. Indian startups are likely to feel the crunch after two very successful years with a total of $37 billion in VC funding. The protective measures are understandable but too quickly brush off the fact that an influx of capital from China has been critical in the growth of India's startup ecosystem in recent years. U.S. and Europe clients should view this as an opportune time to explore investment opportunities in India due to a regulatory advantage."

NYC Transit Authority to use UV-C lights to disinfect buses and subway cars

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

"While UV-C lights are known to destroy organic tissue, including some viruses (although there is not yet any evidence regarding COVID-19), the use of UV-C lights on buses and subway systems for morning cleaning is misguided. It is true that the UV-C lights will likely provide better sterilization than traditional cleaning methods alone, but the value they provide is diminished every time a new person boards the bus or subway. UV-C lights are better for applications where they can be used repeatedly throughout the day, as the protection afforded is highest immediately after the lights are used. Companies need to be thoughtful in how they deploy UV-C lights and consider them as part of a portfolio of strategies for disease mitigation."

Sensors attached to human necks to monitor COVID-19 symptoms have very limited use cases

Lisheng Gao

Lisheng Gao, Analyst
Lux Take: Ignore

"Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and Northwestern University have developed small, waterproof, battery-powered wearable sensors that can monitor breath, cough, and heart rate to identify potential COVID-19 infection. The sensors are stamp-sized and made of soft silicone and are attached to the base of the throat. The sensors collect the data and send it to the cloud for analysis. As COVID-19 is already infectious before becoming symptomatic, the sensors may only be useful in helping medical providers monitor symptom development of infected patients and help them get medical attention quickly. Companies should ignore if looking for tools to monitor the health conditions of workers, as individual monitoring would not provide enough safety."





- Free Access to our COVID-19 Resources

- Blog: Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up May 1, 2020

- Blog: Adapt or Get Left Behind: COVID-19's Disruption of Consumer Goods

- Press Release: Textiles and Apparel Industries Will See Future Growth From Materials Innovation

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