Citigroup wants to bring Microsoft’s HoloLens and augmented reality to stock trading

A new kind of stock-trading screen.
A new kind of stock-trading screen.
Image: 8Ninths
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The world of virtual reality is about to collide with the world of stock trading.

Citi, in a partnership with VR design firm 8ninths, has developed a working proof-of-concept for a virtual trading desk, using Microsoft’s HoloLens headset.

The HoloLens device focuses on an division of VR known as augmented reality—adding a digital interface on top of your real-world environment. For traders, this means layering in tools for visualizing complex data sets.

The HoloLens isn’t for sale yet, but when it is, Citi wants to get it and the program into the hands of traders to get some feedback on it. The firm thinks the technology will not only be useful for its traders, but its trading partners and customers as well, says Stuart Riley, global head of technology for markets and securities services at Citi.

Citi also is looking at how virtual and augmented reality might be applied to other areas of finance, like wealth management. Rival Wells Fargo has been making use of Facebook’s Oculus Rift headset to let customers virtually interact with bank tellers.

But considering more people now do their banking through mobile apps than actual branches, getting bank customers to drop in for a visit in a virtual world may be no easy task.