By Jack Clark
Stock traders could one day get an idea of how their portfolios are doing simply by looking up to see if it’s raining. At least, that’s the idea behind Fidelity Investments’ virtual stock city, a software prototype that lets people navigate their investments by putting on an Oculus Rift headset and studying the weather, the flight paths of virtual birds and the heights of the buildings.
Using Facebook’s recently acquired virtual-reality platform, Fidelity’s virtual city is supposed to give users a visual representation of how the market is performing each day without the stale arrows, charts and ugly red numbers. The company’s ambition is for traders to start thinking, “Is that something I should be watching or thinking about or looking at in a different way?” says Hadley Stern, the vice president of Fidelity Labs, a research and development arm of the company. By giving people a different way of looking at the financial tools they play with daily, “the metaphor becomes real,” he says.
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