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Fidelity Labs Launches Investing App for Smartwatch

Fidelity Watchapp for the Pebble Smartwatch tests the waters of wearable technology.

Today Fidelity Labs announced its first investing app for a smartwatch, a continuation of their experimentation with wearable technology.

The smartwatch app, called Watchapp, works on Pebble, a lightweight watch-like device that reads out text, skips music, tells time, and a number of other decidedly cool functions like track activities and monitor heart rate.

The smartwatch was born out of what is still considered to be Kickstarter's most successful campaign, rocketing past its goal of $100,000 within the first two hours, ultimately raising more than $10 million from tens of thousands of pledgers. Now available in stores, the smartwatch has seen promising sales and a growing application market.

Fidelity Watchapp will the the first investor app built for Pebble.

Fidelity Labs made its debut in wearable technology last Fall with Fidelity Monitor for Google Glass, which met with success and positive feedback in the market. Hadley Stern, vice president of Fidelity Labs says they have learned a lot from customers who used the Google Glass app and hope continued experimentation into wearable technology will help the team to create new and better services in that market.

When asked what kind of investor is expected to use the Pebble wearable watch, Stern says that's just another element they hope to learn from the pilot. He guesses the more active traders who want to constantly track the market, all the way down to causal investors with a couple positions of interest, or just want to know how the Dow and S&P are doing throughout the day.

Watchapp's current functionality shows current positions. Like the watch itself, the app runs off a phone's connection to operate. In Pebble's case, a blue tooth range of 50 feet to pick up alerts. Stern says the biggest challenge in design has been the amount of real estate the watch offers to display data. While smartphone screens have been getting bigger, wearable technology remains quite small.

"We brought in some customers, asked what problems they believed the smartwatch could solve and matched that with what we could do with this product," says Stern. "We are in the early days of wearable technology, so we're a bit limited, but we see the space emerging. Fidelity Labs exists to put things like this out there, to better understand the technology and the customer experience, and to constantly evolve in that space." Becca Lipman is Senior Editor for Wall Street & Technology. She writes in-depth news articles with a focus on big data and compliance in the capital markets. She regularly meets with information technology leaders and innovators and writes about cloud computing, datacenters, ... View Full Bio

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