Fidelity Investments has launched a preview of the first investing application for Google Glass: a tiny, wearable computer that rests on the user's head like a set of eyeglasses.
Fidelity Market Monitor for Glass will provide users with a hands-free display of quotes from major U.S. stock indexes at market close. However, the lab's aspiration is to see its Glassware (the name for applications on Google Glass) evolve to include real-time updates, personalized functionality and request-response capabilities.
“Our aim is to understand emergent technologies,” said Hadley Stern, vice president of Fidelity Labs. “We believe wearable computing is going to get very important in the coming years.”
The question of whether there will be market demand for a product such as this is something about which Mr. Stern isn't particularly worried.
“Our charter is to understand a tool's technology and the user experiences that are 12, 18 months out,” he said, invoking the lab's early success launching Fidelity's first iPhone app and its first social-media presence.
April Rudin, founder of The Rudin Group, a wealth marketing solutions firm, thinks that the move is a win-win for Fidelity because the company will be associated with an enticing, futuristic product.
“Whether you can attach it to sales, I don't know, but the notion is that tech is a revenue generator,” she said.
Ms. Rudin sees the announcement as proof of Fidelity's commitment to younger, tech-savvy investors.
“There's going to be a halo effect. Fidelity's branding itself as a company that cares about NextGen,” she said.
In terms of functionality, Ms. Rudin isn't sold.
“First impression, it looks like a good idea but ahead of its time,” she said.
Mr. Stern, however, thinks that the product will soon catch on.
“For wearable technology, expect general availability within the year,” he said.