Virtual Reality for Banks May Be Closer Than We Think

By MacRae, Desmond | American Banker, January 8, 1996 | Go to article overview

Virtual Reality for Banks May Be Closer Than We Think


MacRae, Desmond, American Banker


Virtual reality is an electronic replacement for tangible material or actual events. It supplants a real environment of spreadsheets and meetings with electronic simulations of them.

The implications are staggering. VR could be a replacement for lots of the brick and mortar costs that banks have been incurring for years, ranging from somebody coming into a branch to open up a new account to providing investment advice or portfolio information, said Barry Elkin, a Chase Manhattan Bank vice president for product development who builds client information workstation products.

Virtual reality means that, eventually, face-to-face meetings can be simulated electronically so that the sights and sounds one normally experiences at real meetings or conferences will appear real - even though participants may be scattered in different places all over the world. Think of today's teleconferencing power but with charts, data, and other information graphically represented in a way that people sitting across the continent can work on simultaneously - just like a real meeting.

For banks, it also means that both institutional and retail customers could be offered an entire range of banking services using the Internet's World Wide Web to electronically send and receive text, images, and sound.

Just as the telephone altered the way business was done in the in early 20th century, virtual reality is already beginning to alter the way business is done today.

The only difference is that the two-stage virtual reality revolution will happen in 10 years whereas the telephone revolution took 50.

The first stage, transferring data in animated graphical form, is already under way. It is now possible for almost any computer to download animated, graphical information from the Internet's World Wide Web cheaply.

The second stage, three-dimensional virtual reality conference calls and animated portfolio reports that show changes and spot opportunities and problems as they occur, is coming very soon.

For bankers, an important question to ask before committing money to virtual reality projects is: What do banks customers really need now?

What they don't need now is the mimicking of reality that the military is interested in, said Borys Harmaty, a Bank of New York Co. vice president who, like Mr. Elkin, builds client information workstation products.

The real task of financial applications using virtual reality is to mimic how the human brain gathers financial information so that it can be presented in the same way the brain gathers it. Of the five senses - sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch - only the first two are used when gathering financial information.

But some visionaries are already challenging that truism. One fanciful example of a total virtual reality scenario would allow a banker to smell U.S. bonds as apples going sour because there was no derivatives tarpaulin over the apple barrel on the porch of an old-fashioned farmhouse.

It's a neat way for a plan sponsor to look at his global portfolio.

But some question when such an application will catch on.

Virtual reality developers say they envision systems that can help managers measure risk and see the real-time value of their investments not use virtual reality technology simply because it is there.

Virtual reality is important because it can present information in ways that parallel how the brain works. Why mimic the brain? Because human beings are great pattern-recognizers.

The idea is to let people see patterns that a two-dimensional chart might not reveal. Thus problems and opportunities can be highlighted more quickly than if the brain were asked to digest static reports or charts, search for patterns perhaps obscured by the ways in which they were made, and then conclude that something should be done. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Virtual Reality for Banks May Be Closer Than We Think
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.