US financial services giant Fidelity Investments has built an application for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset that lets investors visualise their portfolio as a 3D city.
Developed by the firm's R&D arm, Fidelity Labs, StockCity
is a 3D environment of buildings that represent stocks. Each building is in a neighbourhood based on a specific sector and the height of the building represents the stock price, while the footprint is calculated using 90 day trading volume and shares outstanding.
When the market’s open, it’s daytime; when the market is closed it’s night. Sunshine and rain tell you whether the market is up or down. Fidelity says that in the future, traffic in the streets could represent trading activity and birds flocking around buildings could indicate social media chatter.
The lab, which in the past has developed apps for Google Glass and the Pebble smartwatch, says that StockCity is just an experiment in finding a way to represent what is often complex data in an intuitive way free of screens full of numbers and charts.
Fidelity is now inviting people to download the app - which can be used through a web browser as well as the yet-to-be-commercially-released Oculus Rift - and help it to refine the idea.