Of Note: Space X, Quibi, Mirror, and Turnkey

Briefings, Updates, and Analysis in Innovation and Technology.

To the Moon

One small step for man, one giant leap for private spaceflight. This spring, visionary tech mogul Elon Musk’s SpaceX is preparing to launch humans into space. For the first time since the U.S. shuttered the Space Shuttle Program in 2011, NASA is in on the mission. They are partnering with the California-based company to send SpaceX’s Crew Dragon ship spacecraft to the International Space Station. Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will become the first astronauts to fly a private spacecraft. According to the space transportation company’s website, this ship is the only of its kind capable of returning significant amounts of cargo to Earth. Musk’s aerospace company designs and manufactures rockets and spacecraft in hopes of pioneering space exploration and, perhaps in the not-so-distant future, life on other planets.

Snackable Shows

Quick bites. Small stories. That’s how mobile video platform Quibi introduced itself to much of the world in a commercial on Super Bowl Sunday, ahead of its debut on April 6, 2020. The subscription-based streaming service will provide four- to 10-minute episodes of original content from big-name celebrities and influencers like Kendall Jenner, Zac Efron, Kristen Bell, Chrissy Teigen, and Stephen Curry, to name a few. Unlike many other new streaming services from Disney+, NBC, and HBO, Quibi aims to compete against TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram by providing younger audiences with bite-sized entertainment on the go. Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, who served as chairman for Walt Disney Studios from 1984 to 1994, is the mind behind the short-form video platform, which plans to invest $1B in content in its first year.

Reflection of Health

Forget tedious gym trips, boring exercise bikes, or dreaded treadmills. Interactive fitness device startup Mirror has the power to show you where you are, where you’ll be, and how to get there—all from a glance. The Mirror is just what it appears to be. With the flip of a switch and the launch of an app, it becomes so much more: An LCD screen in the sleek, elegant mirror displays an instructor, health data like heart rate and calories burned, and other users virtually competing with you. The Mirror’s service provides thousands of on-demand cardio, strength, yoga, and boxing workouts through its vast library. According to The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, the company has raised $75M from investors like Spark Capital (Foursquare, Warby Parker), First Round Capital (Uber, Blue Apron), and Lululemon. The self-described “modern home gym” costs $1,495 with a $39 monthly membership to access classes.

Rest Your Mind Key into Rest

Relaxation. Serenity. Peace of mind. All three ought be associated with vacation. TurnKey, a vacation rental company, hopes to make the hassle of key turnover a thing of the past through a proprietary technology called GuestWorks. By digitally locking each property, TurnKey hopes to provide greater security that keeps all except guests (and housekeepers) out. What’s more, each vacation rental is outfitted with both a Ring video doorbell and an in-home tablet that provides information on each house. TurnKey has locations in 21 states, with its most popular destinations Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; Park City, Utah; and Lake Tahoe, California. turnkeyvr.com