Nearly a year and a half after Corporate Insight first posted on Google Glass’s potential value for the financial services industry, Fidelity has unveiled a preview of the first investing app for Glassware. As participants in Google’s developer program, Fidelity’s R&D division, Fidelity Labs, was granted early access to Glass and has taken advantage of this opportunity by creating a unique, exciting application for the wearable device.
While the app is still in the trial phase, its current form boasts some innovative features that leverage the fundamentally distinct user interface offered by Google Glass. There is some predictable functionality (e.g., ability to watch market TV news, scroll through financial headlines, receive market alerts, etc.), but there are two pioneering features that distinguish this from a typical smartphone app – voice command login and the ability to generate market quotes from a company’s logo.
Based on the Fidelity Labs’ concept video above, the firm’s app allows users to access their accounts by speaking a “pass phrase.” While this approach is less of a risk than speaking their online username and password aloud, that’s not to say it’s a flawless concept. Unless this is coupled with reliable voice recognition software – and perhaps a third layer of authentication – it leaves the user vulnerable to fraud; if any passerby can hear your login credentials, the security concerns are obvious.
Fidelity also flexed its creative muscle when it comes to generating a real-time market quote. Users who want to receive a quote are faced with three options – state the company name, state the symbol or simply look at the company logo. Someone wearing Google Glass will be able to focus their vision on a logo to receive a live market quote, with the option to add it to their Watch List for future reference.
As Fidelity’s app has just been released to those with early access to Glass for troubleshooting and feedback, it’s safe to assume the final product will undergo changes before Glass becomes commercially available. With that said, Fidelity clearly has some intriguing and original ideas to maximize the potential of wearable devices for investors. More importantly, they have positioned themselves as leaders among financial services firms in the event that wearable devices achieve widespread popularity and adoption.