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Fidelity tests Google Glass app to simplify looking up stock quotes

Fidelity Investments has introduced an application for Google Glass enabling users to view a hands-free display of quotes from major United States stock indexes at market close.

Google Glass is a small, wearable computer with an optical display integrated into a pair of glasses that is voice-enabled to allow for hands-free online computing activities. The Fidelity app was developed by Fidelity LabsSM, which is a part of the company?s innovation center and focuses on exploring emerging technologies to see how they could benefit investors.

?The first version of the app allows Google Glass wearers to see quotes of the four major stock indexes at market close,? said Hadley Stern, vice president at Fidelity Labs, Boston. ?Eventually, however, the app could be used by Fidelity customers to perform more complex tasks such as looking up stock quotes and getting alerts about companies in their portfolios.

?It?s unclear exactly how wearable will progress and end up impacting society,? he said.

?What is clear to us is that the technology does have relevant and valuable use cases for our customers. For that reason, we will continue to explore it and develop products and services accordingly.?

Future uses
Fidelity is participating in Google's developer program, which gives select companies and individuals early access to Glass.

The Fidelity Market Monitor for Glass app is in preview right now, with users encouraged to go to Fidelitylabs.com to offer their feedback on the concept so Fidelity can refine future apps for wearable computing technology.

The company is already considering possible future uses for Glass, including enabling investors to use voice commands to access a Fidelity account, view market news and information and obtain up-to-the minute stock quotes using visual cues such as a company?s logo.

Wearable technology
Wearable computing technology is stirring consumer interest, as long as there is a correlation to a trusted brand and an upfront value, according to a recent report from Forrester Research (see story).

While the technology is still brand-new, it is developing quickly.

Google is taking Google Glass quite seriously and making regular updates to the device?s software, including recently enabling Web browsing for the first time. Forrester recommends brands begin testing different ways to incorporate the medium into their marketing mixes.

Apple is also reportedly considering a smart device in the form of a watch.

Other companies are investigating wearable technology, as well.

Fidelity is an early example of a brand that is embracing wearable technology.

?Fidelity has a long history of innovation,? Mr. Stern said. ?The Fidelity Center for Applied technology and Fidelity Labs were established to look into the future, determine what emerging technologies are important to explore and create products and services using those technologies to benefit our customers.

?We see wearable computing as one of the technologies that could have a huge impact so that?s where we want to be,? he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York