The coolest gift I got my parents this past Christmas was a set of Lapa bluetooth trackers. This company had been on my radar for several months now as a promising Portuguese startup. I’m all about supporting Portuguese companies and I love how entrepreneurial my country has become in the last 15 years with growing numbers of successful start-ups. Despite wanting to support these initiatives, I refuse to buy something inferior just because it happens to be made in Portugal; so I did the research like a responsible consumer and compared the Lapa with similar products in the market. So what’s a Lapa and why is it worth a blog post?
Named after limpets (you may recall my post on lapas) because they’re so good at sticking to rocks, the Lapa is a tracking device that you can attach to things you don’t want to lose. Common examples are keys, pet collars, wallets, suitcases and even your passport! And even though you can’t really attach one to your reading glasses (they’re usually on your head anyway), you could attach it to your glasses case. You can then locate the items through their smartphone app (iOS and Android), which tells you whether you’re moving towards or away from the Lapa in question. It will even make the Lapa ring, to locate it more easily once you’re close.
Here’s why I chose the Lapa brand:
1. Price It’s right. It falls pretty much in the mid-range for a bluetooth tracker. I chose to buy a set of 3 lapas for $69.95 which you can buy from their website here. But the cost of always finding your valuables?… priceless!
2. Functionality This is probably the biggest factor for me. Firstly, it’s waterproof so if you accidentally have a Lapa in your jeans and wash them, it’s totally ok! Or if one is attached to your dog who decides to jump into a pool or puddle, that’s cool too. Secondly, the range it offers is better than others I’ve seen, by about double. The Lapa can detect objects in a range of up to 60 m (200 ft), which is great if you have a mansion or if, like most people, you just happen to forget something at a cafe and walk off. If you happen to move out of range, the Lapa will track the last known location while you were within your current range (so you know in which direction to go). Another cool feature of the Lapa is that when you misplace your phone, you can use a Lapa to make your phone ring, even if it’s on silent! I don’t know about you, but I need this in my life! Check out how it all works in this video.
3. Community You can set your Lapa up to be part of the greater Lapa community. It means that if you report a Lapa as missing, another Lapa user can find that Lapa (and the item it’s attached to) if it’s within their range. They can then alert you to its location. If you’re prone to losing things, you should probably consider buying some Lapas for friends and neighbors…
Not long after we had opened the pack, one of the lapas was already on the family dog, another on a set of keys. I’m not sure where they opted to attach the third lapa to, which makes me wonder if they didn’t sneak it into my wallet…