Trading Technology

05:38 PM
Connect Directly
Facebook
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Fidelity Labs Launches Investing App for Smartwatch

Fidelity Watchapp for the Pebble Smartwatch tests the waters of wearable technology.

Today Fidelity Labs announced its first investing app for a smartwatch, a continuation of their experimentation with wearable technology.

The smartwatch app, called Watchapp, works on Pebble, a lightweight watch-like device that reads out text, skips music, tells time, and a number of other decidedly cool functions like track activities and monitor heart rate.

The smartwatch was born out of what is still considered to be Kickstarter's most successful campaign, rocketing past its goal of $100,000 within the first two hours, ultimately raising more than $10 million from tens of thousands of pledgers. Now available in stores, the smartwatch has seen promising sales and a growing application market.

Fidelity Watchapp will the the first investor app built for Pebble.

Fidelity Labs made its debut in wearable technology last Fall with Fidelity Monitor for Google Glass, which met with success and positive feedback in the market. Hadley Stern, vice president of Fidelity Labs says they have learned a lot from customers who used the Google Glass app and hope continued experimentation into wearable technology will help the team to create new and better services in that market.

When asked what kind of investor is expected to use the Pebble wearable watch, Stern says that's just another element they hope to learn from the pilot. He guesses the more active traders who want to constantly track the market, all the way down to causal investors with a couple positions of interest, or just want to know how the Dow and S&P are doing throughout the day.

Watchapp's current functionality shows current positions. Like the watch itself, the app runs off a phone's connection to operate. In Pebble's case, a blue tooth range of 50 feet to pick up alerts. Stern says the biggest challenge in design has been the amount of real estate the watch offers to display data. While smartphone screens have been getting bigger, wearable technology remains quite small.

"We brought in some customers, asked what problems they believed the smartwatch could solve and matched that with what we could do with this product," says Stern. "We are in the early days of wearable technology, so we're a bit limited, but we see the space emerging. Fidelity Labs exists to put things like this out there, to better understand the technology and the customer experience, and to constantly evolve in that space." Becca Lipman is Senior Editor for Wall Street & Technology. She writes in-depth news articles with a focus on big data and compliance in the capital markets. She regularly meets with information technology leaders and innovators and writes about cloud computing, datacenters, ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Becca L
50%
50%
Becca L,
User Rank: Author
3/27/2014 | 9:11:57 PM
re: Fidelity Labs Launches Investing App for Smartwatch
A lot of time people aren't even aware a company is publically traded - for example, Crumbs Bakery! If the watch is alerting you when you walk into these shops - showing stock price and performance, not only does that widen your eyes to the market, but you'll start learning obscure ticker symbols very quickly!
Becca L
50%
50%
Becca L,
User Rank: Author
3/27/2014 | 9:09:41 PM
re: Fidelity Labs Launches Investing App for Smartwatch
Watch out, Greg! Some dorks in denial are going to come after you!

I really like the wearable tech trend, especially the fitbit/jawbone/nike fuel type devices. They look sleek and seem endlessly useful... One of these days I'll actually buy one....
Greg MacSweeney
50%
50%
Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/27/2014 | 8:19:12 PM
re: Fidelity Labs Launches Investing App for Smartwatch
I clearly have to check out some of the wearable technology devices. I won't do google glass (i'm not that much of a dork), but a watch that can give me bio feedback would be pretty cool.
Kelly22
50%
50%
Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
3/19/2014 | 8:37:57 PM
re: Fidelity Labs Launches Investing App for Smartwatch
That's what I was thinking. It's still early for wearable tech, but clearly the smartwatch has potential. Good move for Fidelity to experiment with this trend early so they'll be ready if it starts to pick up speed.
IvySchmerken
50%
50%
IvySchmerken,
User Rank: Author
3/19/2014 | 8:14:57 PM
re: Fidelity Labs Launches Investing App for Smartwatch
Really cool, Becca. I think Fidelity is experimenting with wearable tech but sees some real applications down the road, and wants to be first if this materializes. Someone can use the smartwatch app to view the same watch list they get on Fidelity's Android app. There's the example of someone passing a coffee shop (think D&D or Starbucks) and wants to get its latest stock quote. I'm not sure this results in transactions, but could if it's voice enabled.
Becca L
50%
50%
Becca L,
User Rank: Author
3/19/2014 | 6:45:05 PM
re: Fidelity Labs Launches Investing App for Smartwatch
The application is available to anyone with a Pebble watch - so customers/investors. I think Stern hit the nail on the head when he said this is a totally new market, they are trying to figure out just how much use this technology could be to traders given the limitations (display space, bluetooth, small controls, etc). Wearable tech is just taking off - they can't even be sure who is downloading the app and actively using it! These first steps will help and industry peers evolve in the space. If it falls flat, at least they tested the waters - if it works, they'll have a head start.
KBurger
50%
50%
KBurger,
User Rank: Author
3/19/2014 | 6:14:43 PM
re: Fidelity Labs Launches Investing App for Smartwatch
Is the watch/Watchapp geared toward customers/investors, or for use by Fidelity's advisors/distributors? If the former, how does Fidelity envision wearable technology will help its business -- basically branding, loyalty, buzz, etc., or does the company foresee some potential transactional capabilities (e.g., account updates, buying, inquiries, etc.)? If used by advisors -- how might it help them do their jobs?
Register for Wall Street & Technology Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Wall Street & Technology - July 2014
In addition to regular audits, the SEC will start to scrutinize the cyber-security preparedness of market participants.
Video
Exclusive: Inside the GETCO Execution Services Trading Floor
Exclusive: Inside the GETCO Execution Services Trading Floor
Advanced Trading takes you on an exclusive tour of the New York trading floor of GETCO Execution Services, the solutions arm of GETCO.