Camera rental startup Lumoid recently launched a health and fitness device rental service so that people can try out different wearables before deciding which one they want.
Lumoid founder Aarthi Ramamurthy told MobiHealthNews in an email that the decision to expand into wearables from photo and video equipment came entirely from the customers.
"We asked our customers what other products they'd like to see on our site, and we got an overwhelming amount of interest for wearables from our existing customers -- so it made sense to expand in that direction," Ramamurthy said.
A majority of the fitness devices currently offered by Lumoid are wristworn activity trackers with varying features, battery life, and size. The service aims to help users learn which devices fit best into their lifestyle.
Consumers can choose any five devices to try at home for seven days. Currently, the service offers 21 health trackers from 11 companies. Some of the devices available for rental include Intel's Basis Peak, Garmin Vivosmart, Misfit Shine, Withings wireless blood pressure monitor, Fitbit Aria Smart Scale, Jawbone UP 24, and Samsung Gear Fit. Health-related devices are categorized into three groups: sleep tracking devices, fitness devices, and "stay connected".
From the website, users can browse device specs, view comparison charts, and read snippets of reviews from consumer tech news sites.
After the trial week, if users want to purchase a device, they can do so from Lumoid, and the company will send them a brand new device. If renter doesn't purchase any of the devices they tested out, then they return all of them and pay $20.
Ramamurthy said the company plans to continue to expand into other types of more medically-oriented devices that can fit into a "try before you buy" model.
"We experimented with blood pressure monitors with this launch, and the reception has been great," Ramamurthy said. "So we will expand in that direction."
Helping people find a fitness wearable that they actually like using -- vs. imagine they'd like to use -- could be a factor in increasing user engagement. In August 2014, research group Endeavour Partners found, after conducting a survey with 1,700 device owners, that one third of consumers who own wearable devices stop using them within six months.