Airbnb has acquired a little known company called Lapka that makes connected sensors, primarily embedded in health-minded devices. It is still unclear how Airbnb will use these sensors to improve its online residence sharing and rental business, though. Perhaps, they opt for Lapka’s offering toward monitoring “personal environment” metrics such as radiation and carbon monoxide, to let their customers know what kind of environment they can expect in the area where they want to rent an apartment.
Lapka’s CEO and creative director Vadik Marmeladov said that his company was never meant to build medical devices but rather “build the most beautiful science ever.”
“Whether it was a radiation sensor, EMF sensor or even a breathalyzer, each product was imagined as a token, charm or talisman, not a device,” he said.
Airbnb’s co-founder and chief product officer Joe Gebbia is pleased with the deal: “Since the moment Lapka launched their first product, I have been inspired by their impressive design sensibilities – a combination of beauty, form, and story. These guys have tenacity and drive towards creating the future, and I’m thrilled to get to work alongside them at Airbnb to create a world where people can belong anywhere,” he said to ZDnet.
Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed. We do know that Lapka will discontinue all operations and will not be manufacturing or developing any new products.