Even if you do your research online, it can be hard to figure out which fitness tracker is right for your needs. Information like whether a Fitbit can track sleep is a Google search away, but knowing whether you like the way the band feels on your wrist is more subjective.
A new service from Lumoid called Wearables Box will let users get more hands-on time with fitness trackers in their own homes. Starting on Monday, Lumoid will rent you up to five new-in-box fitness trackers of your choice for a week, with a return label included. If you end up falling in love with one of them, you can keep it and pay Lumoid full retail price. If you don’t, the entire process will cost you $20.
Lumoid will help users decide which trackers they’d like to try by organizing the 25 available trackers by features such as sleep tracking and connectivity.
“I’m a runner, for example,” Lumoid founder Aarthi Ramamurthy said. “My use case is completely different from someone else who is trying to track sleep or someone who wants to count calories or lose weight.”
One issue is whether a given fitness tracker will work with your various phones, tablets and PCs. Although Lumoid isn’t renting Android Wear smartwatches at the moment, you can try out a Samsung Gear Fit, for instance, which only works with Samsung phones and tablets. Lumoid writes blurbs highlighting potential pitfalls using data garnered from user feedback, including information on device compatibility. A nifty side effect is that Lumoid gets a front row seat to collect data on which trackers are doing well and why.
“Users are saying ‘I can’t type with the Jawbone UP because it’s so bulky,'” Ramamurthy said. “So far, the it’s Fitbit Charge that has done really well for us in the beta.”
In many ways, Lumoid is simply selling fitness trackers online. That’s how the company plans to make money shipping wearable gadgets all over the country. Lumoid makes a similar margin to retailers like Best Buy and Amazon when a user decides to keep a device and pays for it.
The $20 rental charge is automatically deducted from your credit card when you ship your trackers back. If you try to keep all the trackers Lumoid shipped you, it can charge your card for the full retail value.
Lumoid, a San Francisco-based startup, first started renting gadgets — specifically, cameras — in 2014. In November, the company launched Lumoid Locals in San Francisco, a marketplace that lets users rent camera equipment directly to other users.
Here’s the full list of fitness trackers Lumoid rents out:
- JAWBONE UP24 Wristband
- Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor
- Withings Pulse O2
- Striiv Fusion Activity and Sleep Tracker
- Garmin Vivosmart
- Garmin Vivofit
- Fitbit Flex
- Fitbit Charge
- Fitbit One
- Nike+ Fuelband SE
- Withings Pulse Wireless Activity Tracker
- JAWBONE Up Move Activity Tracker
- Misfit Shine
- Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale
- Withings WS-50 Smart Body Analyzer
- Pebble Smartwatch
- Samsung Gear Fit
- Nike+ Ipod Sensor
- LifeTrak Move C300
- Gymwatch Sensor
- Basis Peak