Financial Trading Stirring Up with Virtual Reality
Have you ever considered trading data with a virtual reality application? Well, Citi is looking into a prototype of a virtual reality app that traders can use to build holograms of graphical data. Design firm, 8ninths, built the prototype application by using Microsoft’s HoloLens platform.
Citi has been working in partnership with the 8ninths Company to communicate their traders’ needs and how data can be used in a trading environment. The result of that partnership is the Holographic Workstation, which updates with real-time financial information and will allow traders to interact with it in 3D.
In a normal day of work, a trader would be able to take a hologram of their data off of their desktop, put it on a flat surface and work around it, according to PC World, which had a preview of the application. A trader and a colleague can meet virtually and share a holographic image using the gaze indicator as a pointing device from the HoloLens.
The program is designed to be used on a trader’s desk for convenience, but it can be moved off of the desk onto any flat workspace. The workstation integrates a keyboard, docking space, tablet screen space, 3D holographic docking space, gesture, gaze, voice input, mouse and current Citi workflows and devices.
The major issue that was identified was that traders utilize large amounts of data in 2D formats that limit the ability to collaborate. A language and design pattern was invented by 8ninths to enable Microsoft HoloLens to transform 2D data into 3D holograms to be used in virtual reality. The pyramid system of holographic information is set up with an organization from the micro level at the base, to the macro level at the very top. Traders can interact with data in a pyramid-like system, all the way down into the data they wish to explore and quickly visualize information.
In the demonstration of this virtual reality featured by PC World, the active companies were represented as larger icons visually, this signals an opportunity for the trader. Traders could place virtual objects on their actual desk shelves, and as they move down their desk shelves and stacks of data, traders could dig deeper into trading information with business intel serving as visual cues for guidance.
Heather Raikes, the creative director at 8ninths, said, ”Once we defined the problems, we were really excited to see how we could design a new way for people to better visualize, interact with and gain insight through a holographic experience.”
Only developers in the United States and Canada who have expressed an interest through filling out an application are being shipped the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition. Developers will be invited to order the device when their application has been approved. Because of the small amount of devices available at one time, developers are invited in waves. 8ninths is one of seven companies chosen for the Microsoft HoloLens Agency Readiness Program. This week at Microsoft Build 2016 it will be showcasing the Holographic Workstation prototype.
Citi’s Markets Lab in Tel Aviv will explore the application and its potential for traders in the company as the next step in the business model.
Stuart Riley, the Global Head of Technology for Markers and Securities Services at Citi, said, ”We are excited to partner with Microsoft, 8ninths and Citi Ventures on this exploration of 3D visualization and mixed reality to enrich traders’ user experience. Our Markets Lab in Tel Aviv sees great potential for this technology to enhance and humanize the next-generation markets trading working environment at Citi.”