BOSTON — For several years, Fidelity Labs, the R&D unit of Fidelity Investments, has explored virtual reality to help people better understand their finances. Two years ago, researchers at Fidelity Labs experimented with Oculus Rift® to transform an investor's portfolio into a city that conveys information about stocks without using a single number or percentage. Since then, we've seen virtual reality proliferate in a big way – used for gaming, marketing, healthcare and more. This new proof of concept uses virtual reality to help employers create retirement plans for the future.
"Our studies have shown that 72 percent of employers ranked 'low employee savings' as one of their biggest concerns*. Could virtual reality help? This is something we wanted to explore," said Sean Belka, senior vice president and director of Fidelity Labs. "Our most recent experiments look at how virtual reality can help companies of all sizes visualize information in an engaging, interactive and visceral way. It just might help them improve their retirement savings plan, help their employees make better investing decisions, and transform how people see and manage their money."
Emerging interfaces provide new ways for people to interact with information and with large, complex data sets. Fidelity Labs will continue to explore potential uses cases across financial services to stay in touch with changing customer preferences.
- View a video about this latest virtual reality proof of concept
- Fidelity Labs built its first virtual reality proof of concept, StockCity for Oculus, in 2014
- Fidelity Labs also built the first investing app for a smartwatch, and for Google GlassTM
This experiment places the employer on the stage of a large auditorium, virtually standing before their entire workforce. By using virtual reality controllers to select specific filters, such as age and asset allocation, the user can quickly see the impact of these elements to assess workers' current savings status. The user could use virtual reality to visualize and interact with the different dimensions of retirement planning, such as how many employees participate in a plan, how much they are saving and whether they are asking for help. Someday, virtual reality may serve to complement Fidelity's existing suite of technologies that enable employers to measure the effectiveness of their workplace savings plans, analyze savings behavior among their employees and help them make retirement savings decisions.
About Fidelity Labs
The researchers, product managers, design thinkers, designers and developers at Fidelity Labs (the R&D unit of Fidelity Investments) innovate with technology to give people access to the tools they need to empower their lives and reach their financial goals. Since 1998, we have worked to identify and explore emerging technologies, while using design thinking and a lean start-up mentality, in collaboration with our customers, to incubate new products, services and even businesses. For more information about Fidelity Labs, visit https://www.fidelitylabs.com/about.
About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity's mission is to inspire better futures and deliver better outcomes for the customers and businesses we serve. With assets under administration of $5.5 trillion, including managed assets of $2.1 trillion as of October 31, 2016, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 25 million people invest their own life savings, nearly 20,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs, as well as providing nearly 10,000 advisory firms with investment and technology solutions to invest their own clients' money. Privately held for 70 years, Fidelity employs 45,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit https://www.fidelity.com/about.