Jun 4, 2013

Visualizing Capital Markets - Google Glass, Technology Innovation & Financial Services

Watch the video: Visualizing Capital Markets - Google Glass, Technology Innovation & Financial Services

Will wearable technology like Google Glass change the way capital markets participants visualize and engage in the markets?  David Easthope of Celent joins Numerix CMO Jim Jockle to discuss Google Glass, Technology Innovation and Financial Services in this Numerix video blog.

We live in a screen culture. Admittedly many of us check email on our phones each morninig in bed before a foot even hits the floor. Our morning paper gets read on a tablet during the commute. At work, a cacophony of monitors create digital information hubs at our desks. We encounter screens on the treadmill, at restaurants, on billboards, in our cars. So its not entirely shocking that this has begun to evolve further to a world of wearable technology.

Beyond tracking our run and measuring our heartbeats, some are envisioning these wearable technology devices as a new way to do business. From capturing and documenting data to agregating and delivering data to device holders anytime, anywhere for real-time decisioning.

It was just these applications that caught the attention and imagination of Research Director, David Easthope of Celent when he wrote the piece Applications in the Eye of the Beholder: Google Glass + Capital Markets. We sit down with Easthope to dig into his thoughts on the use of Google Glass and wearable technology to improve the working lives and decisionmaking abilities of capital markets participants.

Weigh in and continue the conversation on Twitter @nxanalyticsLinkedIn, or in the comments section below.

Video Transcript: Visualizing Capital Markets - Google Glass, Technology Innovation & Financial Services

Jim Jockle (Host): Hi welcome to Numerix Video Blog. Google Glass dominates the headlines as of late for a product that is not out yet. Wearable technology is dominating the conversation. Whether it’s from the back pages of privacy law, to the comedy of Saturday Night Live, everyone is talking about Google Glass - even its application for the capital markets (addressed in a recent Innovation Focus Series on Celent.com). With me today, is Research Director, David Easthope of Celent. David welcome.

David Easthope (Guest): Thanks Jim. Happy to be here.

Jockle: Thank you. So your post – and let me make sure everybody gets it out there, it’s titled Applications in the Eye of the Beholder: Google Glass + Capital Markets – you introduced something that no one’s really been talking about or thinking of, which is really looking at Google Glass as a mobility device, not just about pushing information but also the ability to pull information and then overlaying that into the trading decision. Can you just share some of your thoughts and explore that for us?  

Easthope: Sure. As a Research Director in the capital markets area, I’m always looking for things that have implications for trading as well as risk. So I’ve been hearing a lot about Google Glass and the discussion about pushing your data to your Glass in the same way that you push information to your smartphone – whether its email, alerts, any type of content. Also, the idea that you can integrate the search feature into that device. What a lot of people aren’t talking about is what information you can pull with the device that’s in your immediate surroundings. And I think that’s where there are some real applications in terms of near term for the capital markets. So for example, if you are a traditional investor, and you are attending an analyst day, an event with a company you might be able to generate a very useful record of your meetings, your conversations, some of the information that’s presented to you so you have a useful documentation of that through the device.  That’s at your very basic level. I think that when it comes to more advanced trading types of applications, this is where Glass can be a bit more innovative. People are always looking for data that no one else has. So if you’re out, and you’re an investor or analyst and you’re for an example, wearing the Glass, and you may be at a retail like Apple, you can track traffic in and out of stores this type of information that other investors may not have. So that type of unstructured data that you can collect. Once you combine that with other more traditional sources of data, from exchanges or other financial news sources, you may have some type of investment edge. So I think the idea is you can apply that to the retail investment sector. Or you could look at energy, or who knows, you can combine in a satellite imagery of farm land to try to understand crop fields. So I think the implications are endless. We can discuss more about some of the more near term developments for non-cloud, nonsocial media but I think those are some of the near imperative things to think about.

Jockle: So almost in that way you’re your own personal Gordon Gekko minus the army of individuals standing in parking lots monitoring traffic.

Easthope: That’s right. If you think about what some hedge funds have done over the years to generate Alpha, an example is often given of hedge funds hiring interns to go sit in oil fields and the minute they see someone discover oil, they see it come out of the ground to give a phone call to the hedge fund manager. This is a more technologically driven innovative similar approach to that. You’re trying to collect some data that no one else has. And if you combine that with other fundamental data then you may have some type of edge in the investment process. So I think naturally people will always think about what information can I gather through Glass that other people won’t have?

Jockle: So one of the other elements which I thought was really interesting in the concept of your piece was around UI development. And really starting getting down with so much has been done in tracking key strokes, and how we want to be able to get the data within one click or be able to drill down, but you suggested Glass as an application for UI development. Give us a little bit of thoughts on that.

Easthope: Yeah actually this is an area that I think is much more realistic and interesting for me. I think one of the things people are missing is the fact that Google is issuing Glass to the development community. And so these developers can actually use the data they collect through the device to make their applications better. And I think the examples would be trading terminals. Other screens that trader’s use, so the developers could actually use Glass to track the eye flow, the directional movement of the eyes. In the same way we talk about trader workflow we could be talking about trader eye flow in the near future. So an example would be the clutter desk top of a market maker for example where they have multiple screens open, multiple windows, they’re receiving a lot of different pop up messages throughout the day. Glass could potentially track where the trader’s eyes go and see what is the realistic use of a pop up, or what colors or tones do they respond to. And I think, technology developers, whether they’re in the trading side of the business or the risk side of the business, could collect that information and try to make their solution a bit more appealing to the user. This idea of eye flow tracking and I think that is a very immediate opportunity for developers and application of Glass. It’s pulling that information in and seeing how users like you use tools. I think it’s that simple.

Jockle: And we’ve seen actually some of that as it relates to the Microsoft Kinect technology as well as visual movements so I think there’s a lot. Are you seeing any trading applications around the Kinect?

Easthope: I haven’t specifically looked into that. I think we’re trying to think about what are some very near term disruptive technologies. But I haven’t looked specifically into that one. No.

Jockle: So in terms of underlining because in many ways we talk about the push, we talk about the pull of information. But visualization of data becomes incredible. As you look at capital markets, in terms of the initiatives and trading operations, how much is visualization starting to become a priority for many capital markets firms?

Easthope: I think it's a huge priority. It’s been a priority for a number of years. If you look at some of the applications that are developing around heat mapping and visual representation data to traders, this is something that’s been going on for years. I think what you hear from a lot of these traders is that visualization can be very noisy to the eye. It’s not necessarily optimized. So I think you might see this Glass collecting information to make those visualization tools just a little bit better, a little bit more appealing. You know in the same way in our personal lives that we’re seeing softer tones, and use of blues, or softer colors. I think people are developing visualization are understanding that people don’t necessarily want a noisy screen with a lot of flashing red. They actually can respond to much more subtle things. And so I think that this tool can potentially make those visualization tools better. I’m thinking things like market map for example or just general heat maps about which sectors of the economies are strong. Which stocks are going up and down. I think you can optimize that in a much more efficient way. This is very much a Generation Y concept where things are a bit more subtle.

Jockle: Well David I want to thank you so much for joining us. And be sure to stay on top of David’s research on his series on celent.com Innovation in Focus Series, that is being published regularly on. Try to stay ahead on capital markets and trade infrastructure on a regular basis. David thank you so much on your time today and I hope you’ll join us again.

Easthope: Thank you very much. I really enjoyed it.

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