Fidelity Goes Down the Virtual Reality Rabbit Hole

by on Jun 11, 2018

Fidelity recently debuted Cora, a prototype virtual reality (VR) H pioneered by Fidelity Labs and built using the new Amazon Sumerian VR application platform. Though not available to the general public, Cora serves as a proof of concept for what a VR assistant available to retail investors might look like in the near future and what features it might include. The firm promoted Cora through a dedicated Fidelity Labs landing page, an introductory video and a series of tweets, and the concept has received media attention from the likes of Fortune magazine and WealthManagement.com.

Recent Fidelity Labs Tweet

Cora and her VR environment’s graphics may be decidedly cartoonish, but the functionality of a VR agent could one day prove valuable to investors. The proof of concept video demonstrates some of the features of Cora and her VR environment, and perhaps most interesting (for now) is the use of multiple Panels, which essentially function as separate screens where investors can research equities and place trades without switching between dozens of tabs on a single screen or even dual monitors. The Host concept, touted as the hallmark feature of the prototype, is less impressive. According to the video, Cora acts as a digital assistant, apparently similar to Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, which are useful so long as users . Future users might use Cora, for example, to pull basic quote information (as demonstrated in the introductory video) or execute trades. For more complex requests, though, users will likely need to continue to rely on traditional, physical inputs like a keyboard and mouse or a VR controller. Barring major developments in consumer technology that relies on machine learning and natural language processing, Cora still has a long way to go to be a truly paradigm-shifting implementation.

Fidelity Labs Cora Prototype

That said, it bears repeating that Cora is currently in the proof of concept stage, and it is impressive that Fidelity Labs has already made inroads with VR in the first place. It demonstrates that the firm places a higher value on research and development in cutting edge technology than in remaining in the status quo. Cora may not be there yet, but Fidelity is positioning itself as a leader in the realm of financial virtual assistants and will be more likely than competitors to be ready for change when the technology becomes more robust.

Embedded Cora Prototype Video