October 8, 2014

Rent Google Glass, a Wearable Camera and soon the iWatch for Less than a Pair of Vintage Boots - Lumoid.com is Transforming the Electronics Industry through Values Centered in Sustainability and Accessibility


Walking towards the offices of Lumoid.com, I remembered the excitement I felt as a little girl, walking into a VHS rental store, knowing I could walk away with anything in there. Nothing was unobtainable. After watching a film over and over, the thrill faded and I'd walk back to return and exchange for a newer release. Why purchase something you're only going to enjoy for a short period of time that will eventually collect dust and produce clutter?


This question especially rings true within the electronics industry. A market that is saturated with a surplus of choices - expensive products mass produced using unsustainable materials - that then turns it's own systems obsolete within months after release for a newer version... is starting to get old.

Aarthi Ramamurthy, CEO of Lumoid.com has responded to this with a solution that benefits both industry leaders and frustrated customers. Curious about which wearables I could get my hands on, Aarthi and her staff kindly invited me into the offices located in between SOMA and the Financial District downtown to check it out.



The office looked just how a startup should - lots of light in a big open space, people scattered around on stools and couches, munching on bagels and working frantically to fill orders coming in left and right. The rest of the space was piled with eco-friendly biodegradable shipping boxes and electronic toys everywhere! That feeling of being a kid hit me all over again, but it wasn't a question of which gadget I was going to get, it was a question of  how long would it take to try everything at least once.


After graduating top of her class with a Masters degree in Engineering, Aarthi moved from India to work for Microsoft in Seattle, then Netflix after that. Her entrepreneurial spirit finally brought her here, putting ideas and development into a startup incubator that helped get Lumoid off the ground and running.


"Not only are the rental dates filling up, but we are selling out of product!" She explains, after describing the rent-to-own program. If you end up trying out a product that you can't live without, Lumoid sells you the gently used product for less than market price.

You can rent Google Glass for less than 20 dollars a day, camera kits for any occasion, and I just borrowed this smart, wearable camera made by Autographer to see if it can accurately log my life (as the company promises) before investing in one.


One last look through polaroid photos taken from a recent office party, and I see how Aarthi exudes complete passion for the products and services she and the staff work so hard to develop.


Just as she and I are about to leave for another cup of coffee...(her treat) she casually mentions iWatch, Oculus Rift and a drone fleet coming into future lineups. This is the beginning of a whole new service industry. If you'd like to check out the site go here: https://www.lumoid.com/ or the blog to see some fantastic user generated content...there is something so powerful in observing everyone enjoying these products, experimenting in creativity using tools that are finally accessible to all.