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Fidelity Labs employs Oculus Rift for a 3D view of investing

• http://www.gizmag.com

With similarities to the popular SimCity urban planning game, its online StockCity program displays an investment portfolio in the form of a city skyline, with an option to go 3D using an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

The program sees neighborhoods made up of stock types (utilities, tech, consumer stocks), while each stock is represented by a building that rises or falls in height depending on market price. Skies turn from sunny to rainy depending on overall market conditions, and birds flying over a building represent positive (green) or negative (red) comments about the stock on social media.

The program is a clear attempt to woo younger investors raised on video games and social media, and those without the patience to wade through a 10-page white paper. According to Hadley Stern, vice president at Fidelity Labs, his group had been keen to incorporate virtual reality in some way, and hit upon the idea for StockCity after a couple team members were gazing at the Boston skyline from their office. With old buildings being razed and new ones built, the visual metaphor was extended to the company's investment data.

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