Deciding what kind of DSLR cameras, lenses, drones, fitness trackers or smartwatches can be a challenge because there are many options. The last thing you want to do is buy a device and find it unsatisfying. Fortunately, you can rent consumer electronics before you buy them through a service called Lumoid. Lumoid plans to offer the much anticipated Apple Watch smartwatch when it is released, said Lumoid CEO and founder Aarthi Ramamurthy in an interview with NBC.
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently confirmed that the Apple Watch will be available for consumers in April. Lumoid is expecting a lot of demand for Apple Watch rentals so they will be added a waiting list to their website soon. The price of the Apple Watch will vary depending on the style, but Apple said that the Sport version starts at $349. There is speculation that a “gold edition” of the Apple Watch will cost as high as $5,000. And there are rumors that Apple is going to be installing safes in their stores to keep the expensive Apple Watches extra secure.
Lumoid is essentially a “Netflix for consumer electronics.” Lumoid customers can choose any five devices to try at home for seven days. To rent the five devices for a week, Lumoid users only have to pay $20. The $20 fee is waived if the customer decides to buy one of the devices that was tested. Lumoid will ship a new model of the device to the customer if it is purchased. Lumoid has over a dozen wearables available for rent now, including the Pebble smartwatch, the Samsung Gear Fit and the Fitbit Charge. Customers do not have to worry about shipping fees. However, the rental price may increase if a user wants a set of wearables that includes the Apple Watch.
Launched in January 2014, Lumoid got its start by renting out only photo and video products such as GoPros, drones, lenses and DSLR cameras. Photo and video kits can still be rented for a daily fee. For example, the DJI Phantom 2 Drone with a GoPro Hero 4 costs $45 per day. Or you can rent the “Canon Wedding Kit” for $58 per day, which includes a Canon 5D Mark III Full Frame DSLR camera, a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 II USM Lens and a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II USM Telephone Zoom lens.
Before starting Lumoid, Ramamurthy worked as the co-founder of True&Co, a product manager at Netflix’s Ready Device Platform division, a program manager at Microsoft and entrepreneur-in-residence (EIR) at Battery Ventures. Lumoid is backed by investors like Y Combinator, Melo7 Tech Partners and Pejman Mar Ventures.