Summary:

Glass Apps can be a harbinger of the future of wearable UIs or they can look like a truncated version of the web. Fidelity’s Glass app shows how to take financial info into the wearable age.

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Fidelity, the company that manages more than $1.8 trillion in investments, has released a Google Glass app and a concept video that helps showcase many of the possibilities of the Glass platform, above and beyond just offering financial news and ticker information on demand. The Fidelity Market Monitor for Glass was released by Fidelity Labs, a seven-year-old effort inside the financial firm.

The actual app just delivers market summary information via a card when the market closes. However, the concept video Fidelity made shows how they are thinking about the platform in a larger way. For example, the video below shows how one can snap a picture of a company logo to get information about its stock price or headlines, a handy use of computer vision (or at least pattern matching against a database of company names).

Like, other good Glass apps, the Fidelity concept attempts to limit information to what the user demands, while also taking advantage of Glass’ available features to make an experience very different from the mobile screen or web experience.

Hadley Stern, VP of Fidelity Labs, explains that this is just a trial effort and he expects it to change over time, but he wanted to get his team thinking about what Fidelity could do in relation to wearable computing. Much like the move to the web almost two decades ago or the adoption of mobile apps, Fidelity wants to put its services on wearables.

As connected devices and platforms proliferate, though, this becomes a challenge when it comes to betting on the right one. I asked Stern how he thought about which platforms to develop for and how he expects to handle the growing diversity of new platforms –everything from connected watches to cars.

“It continues to be a challenge,” he said. “Before the smartphone era there was one platform that we were developing for — the web. Then the iPhone and Android came along. … The problems and challenges are only going to continue as we have this internet of things and more diverse things everywhere, but the decision point will be where our customers are. Plus, when you look at the history of platforms, things tend to shake out and so on wearables we might get to one or two dominant watch platforms and so on.”

For more on how the financial services firms are reacting to the future of connected devices (as well as everyone else), check out our Mobilize conference in October.

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