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Driving innovation at Fidelity Investments

John Dix | March 28, 2014
Fidelity Investments is one of the world's largest providers of financial services, with assets under administration of $4.7 trillion, and it didn't get there by using yesterday's technology. In fact, the company has a standalone group, Fidelity Center for Applied Technology – more commonly referred to as Fidelity Labs -- whose job it is to take the long view, to examine technologies years before they become mainstream and help the firm get a leg up.

You mentioned wearables a few times. A lot of the early stuff seems fairly goofy, but do you expect that to be a big thing?

Right now some of it seems a bit gratuitous and I think the jury is still out. I wear a Pebble watch and I find it useful, because I can see text and other information in a very convenient way just by looking at my wrist versus pulling my phone out of my pocket and entering my password in. So when I'm driving it's more convenient. These things will succeed to the extent that they actually make people's lives easier and better and they won't if they don't. 

It's hard to imagine any of them being as broadly accepted as a mobile phone or a laptop, but that's what Fidelity Labs is here for. We're here to do the experiments, to push the envelope on these things to see if we can create a better customer experience. And if the answer is no, that's OK, it was an experiment. We learned something from it. And if the answer is yes, great, we'll have a head start and we'll just keep building on that. 

 

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