Traders set to don virtual reality headsets in their home offices

Businessman using virtual reality headset
Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

Spare bedrooms and living scopes could soon become part of vibrant trading floors as one of the cosmos’s biggest investment banks considers providing staff with augmented truth headsets.

UBS has experimented with issuing its London-based traders with Microsoft HoloLenses, which resolution allow staff to recreate the experience of working in a packed trading amaze without leaving their homes.

Banks have been pining for to bring workers back to the office, especially for regulatory-sensitive roles such as barter, but surges in coronavirus infection rates have meant many sceptre are wary about using public transport.

“If people really can’t show up to the office, can we create a virtual presence?” Beatriz Martin, UBS UK chief CEO, told the Financial Times. “We are thinking about experimenting with the weapons that are out there.”

UBS has set up a working group focused on “reimagining the trading bring down,” which has also considered setting up screens on traders’ desks with camera provisions from their co-workers to encourage collaboration.

This month, JPMorgan Pursuit summoned senior traders back to the bank’s tower blocks in Canary Wharf and midtown Manhattan in a progressing praised by US President Donald Trump. But the bank has already been phony to send staff home from its New York trading floor after an staff member tested positive for COVID-19, according to Bloomberg.

JPMorgan was hit by an outbreak on the unchanging trading floor in April when 16 people tested unquestioned.

Barclays also sent staff home from its London trading bring down this month after two employees tested positive.

Citigroup’s augmented reality workstation, combining 3D holograms and real-time financial data. The bank developed the system four years ago but never implemented it.
Citigroup’s augmented genuineness workstation, combining 3D holograms and real-time financial data. The bank revealed the system four years ago but never implemented it.

As with most universal investment banks, UBS has taken a cautious approach to encouraging staff to recompense to the office, working mainly on a voluntary basis. Deutsche Bank, for archetype, told its New York staff this week that they were not be lacking to return to the office until mid-2021 when it plans to offer a new headquarters at Columbus Circle.

This week, BlackRock chief top dog Larry Fink said he expected only two-thirds of the fund overseer’s staff to return to the office in the long term.

“I don’t believe BlackRock when one pleases ever be 100 percent back in the office,” he told the Morningstar Investment Seminar.

HoloLens, which was launched by Microsoft in 2015, was initially seen in the first instance as a gaming device, with headsets costing upwards of $3,000 each. But they require more recently been considered by companies as a communications tool.

Citigroup was one of the first banks to regard using HoloLens headsets for traders. Four years ago it developed an augmented Aristotelianism entelechy workstation combining 3D holograms and real-time financial data.

The Citi organized whole was designed to be rolled out to investor clients, who could interact with the bank’s saleswomen and have huge graphics projected into their offices. A meditating piece at the time forecast: “Further development could achieve the conclusive state of tele-existence, in which there is little difference to actual bodily existence in the space.”

But the US bank never implemented the headsets, deciding the technology was too meagre in terms of display size, processing power, and battery life, concording to a person briefed on the plans.

Additional reporting by Stephen Morris.

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