Amazon and Fidelity Labs partners on a virtual reality (VR) financial agent

Amazon and Fidelity Labs, the research arm of Fidelity Investments, have come together to showcase a virtual reality system in which people can talk to a financial advisor about their investment portfolios in a virtual world. According to Fortune, the two companies showcased a virtual reality demonstration in which Fidelity Labs created a digital financial advisor that people can interact with using a VR headset. The VR demonstration is part of a broader pitch for Amazon’s Sumerian VR and augmented reality developer tools that are presently available to the general public to create VR and AR apps. With the help of it, people can talk to a virtual financial planner, called Cora who will come up with solutions to the queries. Fidelity Labs created the demonstration using the same tools to learn possible ways the financial giant could realistically use VR if the technology gets accepted by the consumers, Fidelity Labs vice president Adam Schouela explained. He further added, that if the VR technology becomes successful, the financial services firm won’t be caught off guard and will have the know-how to create VR apps that resonate with consumers. Schouela noted that the demonstration highlights the ability of Cora to hear and respond to a person’s voice, which negates some of the need for people to fiddle with a VR controller to trigger certain commands. Amazon Sumerian general manager Kyle Roche said that by working with Fidelity Labs, it could create VR coding tools that will cater to the specific needs of companies, rather than video game developers. “What we tried to do is make these characters approachable enough, and not too cartoony so they look like Tomb Raider,” Roche added. This is not Fidelity’s first step into the VR domain. In 2014 the company created StockCity for Oculus, combining virtual reality with data visualisation to transform an investor’s stock portfolio into a city where building size indicates volume and price data. More recently. Fidelity applied the technology to assess the impact of elements such as age, tenure and asset allocation on its workforce. Currently, the VR experiment is for Fidelity Labs only and is not intended for a wider release. For Amazon, the VR experiment is a way the company is hoping to lure businesses to create VR apps using its tools and Amazon Web Services cloud computing features.
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