Navigation systems have quickly gone from being an interactive way to direct one from Point A to Point B to massive infotainment centerpieces capable of MP3 player integration, web browsing and wifi. Auto Express is reporting that GPS units could go 3D as soon as next year, because advancements in hardware could make the technology feasible with already available dual image LCD screens (like the one in the 2010 Jaguar XJ).
If you're thinking that you're going to have to wear those goofy paper 3D glasses to find the nearest McDonalds, that's not the case. Faster processors and increased memory will enable the LCD to oscillate between two images fast enough to give the illusion of depth. The incorporation of important landmarks embedded within the 3D image ought to go leaps and bounds towards finding your destination easier.
In the near term, it's likely that the functionality will first be available in aftermarket systems, with OEM models becoming available after the tech becomes a bit more mainstream. Actually, Clarion has been selling a 3D nav system in the UK for over a year and Sony and Panasonic have had the tech available in Japan, so it's more a matter of when, not if, the tech will be available in North America.
[Source: Auto Express]