According to a recent report passed along by IBS intelligence, Swissquote Bank has developed and released an application for Virtual Reality headsets designed to allow VR users to make transactions and access their profiles in a 360-degree virtual reality trading environment. Details about the application are a bit fuzzy, to say the least, and the report is not entirely clear on whether the app has already been launched or continues to be in development.
Furthermore, the report goes on to mention that Swissquote Bank’s virtual reality application makes use of eye-tracking technology supplied by Fast Trade. However, this is the first time we have learned of the existence of Fast Trade, and online searches have been unfruitful. Needless to say, it’s not very clear who, and what Fast Trade represents as a company, or how the eye-tracking technology adopted by Swissquote Bank might work. In any case, the basic principle is to offer VR users a new method of transacting and trading using virtual reality headsets. The application will put users in a 360-degree VR environment giving access to stocks, major share indices and current pairs, and will allow customers to log in with their profiles and view account statuses and more.
There’s no mention of which virtual reality headsets support the application, as the report only mentions “virtual reality helmets”, which can range from entry-level smartphone-powered head-mounted displays to fully-fledged VR headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. But what makes this particular report that much more intriguing and also slightly more confusing is the idea that the development process of the VR app at hand will also accelerate its release on the Apple Watch. VR helmets have limited uses, according to IBS intelligence quoting Swissquote Bank CTO, Paolo Buzzi, but building this application will allow the company to “also perfect our existing applications on other devices […]. In this way, the Fast Trade tool, initially developed for VR helmets, will eventually be used for our Apple Watch application.” However, although both VR devices and smartwatches can be technically viewed as wearable technology, they are inherently very different platforms so it’s unclear how exactly the development of a virtual reality application will benefit Apple Watch users. In any case, having control over your transactions is just one of the many uses for Virtual Reality technology beyond entertainment. Earlier this year Samsung Austria has announced a partnership with the national motor vehicle association in order to bring VR driving lessons to aspiring drivers through the Gear VR headset, and in late January HTC Vive also unveiled a program with a budget of $10 million for UN’s Sustainable Development initiative.