Asia News: All nav systems to feature 3D and photorealism by 2011, says ABI

Asia News:  All nav systems to feature 3D and photorealism by 2011, says ABI

According to ABI Research, 3D and photorealistic graphic displays will feature in 100% of personal navigation products in Asia by 2011, and in 90-95% of such products in Western Europe by 2012.

Uptake in North America, however, will be the slowest and lowest, and will not approach 100% penetration in the foreseeable future.

According to ABI research director Mike Ippoliti, the reasons behind these regional differences are not hard to find.

“3D and photorealistic imagery is most useful in urban environments,” says Ippoliti, “and North America’s wide open spaces and grid-plan cities mean less need for such displays.”

Not every device will feature full street-level realism of the kind delivered by Immersive Media’s car-mounted, dodecahedron-shaped, eleven-camera video capture unit. For the moment at least, that kind of detail is found mainly in desktop-oriented applications such as those created by Google and Microsoft.

The vast amount of data needed to render a wide geographic area in photorealistic 3D means DVD or hard disk storage, or at least a fast broadband connection. This functionality will eventually find its way into handheld navigation devices with the advent of “connected navigation,” which is the subject of another upcoming ABI Research report.

As entertaining and informative as these photorealistic 3D images may be, Ippoloti says automotive manufacturers offering built-in navigation are steering away from them because all that glorious detail could distract drivers.

For the most part, he says, while driving, less is more. “What you want is a simplified interface, except perhaps at a difficult downtown intersection where a view of prominent landmarks could help negotiate a path through.”

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