Fidelity Labs launches ‘smartwatch’ app for checking stock prices

Photo taken from Fidelity Labs’ website.
Photo taken from Fidelity Labs’ website.

Fidelity Labs is launching a new app for a smartwatch that lets users check stocks on the same wristband device they use to see the time and read texts.

The app can be used on the Pebble Smartwatch, a relatively new device that first got off the ground through a Kickstarter campaign that raised $10 million.

Fidelity Labs, the innovation arm of Fidelity Investments, works on applications for customers that its executives hope are about 12 to 18 months ahead of the industry. The group last year launched Market Monitor for Google Glass, an application to let people check the market on high-tech glasses.

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Hadley Stern, vice president of Fidelity Labs, said the idea behind the watch app is to make it simpler to check texts, news headlines, and market information.

“We look at our smartphones about 200 times a day,’’ he said.

The watch may be easier to sneak a peek at than a phone during meetings, he acknowledged, as well as while walking down the street or getting a coffee.

You can load your Twitter feed to the watch, Stern said, but “That can get a little overwhelming.’’

Stern said it’s unclear how quickly “wearable computing” might catch on. The Google Glass app has exceeded expectations at Fidelity in terms of downloads and usage, he said—though he would not disclose precise numbers.

It’s all about convenience, Stern said.

“In one glance you see the time and temperature,’’ he said, and get market updates too.