Oculus Rift employed for 3d visualization of investment data

AUTHOR: Inavate

Oculus Rift, the virtual reality head mounted display, has been primarily associated with gaming and consumer applications. But the product also has potential for use in commercial and professional AV scenarios. For instance Fidelity Labs, an R&D think tank within Boston based financial services company Fidelity Investments, has used the Oculus Rift to develop a way to visualize investment data.

Available online, StockCity displays data in a similar manner to the popular video game Sim City. Different stock types such as utilities, tech, consumer stock etc. are represented in the form of buildings. The height of the buildings falls and rises according to the market prices of the relevant stock. Furthermore, the weather in StockCity represents the overall market condition, with sunny skies denoting good market conditions and stormy weather signifying the opposite. Oculus Rift is employed to give users to view the data in 3D.

Further information regarding particular stocks can be accessed by clicking on the relevant buildings. Standard stock information like the latest stock price, change in dollars and percentage, market capitalization, trading volume of the day, , the average volume over 90 days and shares outstanding are all displays in a pop-up.

According to Hadley Sterm, vice president of Fidelity Labs, the idea for StockCity came from looking out at the Boston skyline. It also helped that Fidelity Labs had been working on a way to incorporate virtual reality into the operations of the group. The visualizations are an attempt to help younger investors digest data in a way they are more comfortable with.

Exploring StockCity in 2D, with a keyboard and mouse is possible. But with the Oculus Rift headset and the Leap Motion 3D controller users can view the content and interact with it using hand gestures in 3D.

StockCity was released in its experimental form at an active-traders conference in Las Vegas this week, while the finished product is slated for a potential release 12 to 18 months down the road. At present the 2D version comes with a list of either the Dow Jones Industrial Average listed 30 companies or the Standard & Poor’s 100 companies list. Eventually users will be able to customize the list of companies, stocks and funds that they would like to be displayed.

Oculus Rift is expected to be made available to consumers by July 2015.