Named BMW iX Flow, the concept car uses E Ink technology to create a seamless color change that completely transforms the exterior of the vehicle in various colors and patterns.
BMW engineer Stella Clark explains, “It’s the world’s first car to change colors. There’s simulated, projection mapping, illumination, but it’s actually an energy-efficient color change with E Ink technology.”
“Nothing like this has been done yet, so this is proof. The question we wanted to answer was, can we make a color-changing car? And the answer is yes! We did it with E Ink,” Clarke continues.
“This is material we know from Kindle eBooks, so you can easily read it in the sun because there’s a real color change. We took this material – it’s kind of thick paper – and our challenge It had to fit into 3D objects, like our cars,” explains the engineer.
Driven by electric signals, E Ink technology creates different colored pigments on the surface, giving the car the desired color.
Despite the change in color and pattern, the technology can help ensure stability and climate control for the vehicle.
“My favorite option is to use paint to effect the reflection of sunlight,” says Clark.
“On a hot, sunny day, you can switch to white to reflect sunlight. On a cold day, you can switch it to black to absorb heat, supporting climate control and stability.” And the best feature of this technology is that it’s stable. “If you switch to white, unplug it, it stays white,” explains a BMW spokeswoman. It doesn’t require energy to hold a certain color.”
E Ink technology is energy efficient and, according to BMW, does not require additional energy to maintain the driver’s choice of vehicle color.
Clark explains that the driver has the opportunity to change the color of the car in the cabin using the phone application or hand gestures.
BMW revealed that the technology is still at an early stage and the prototype displayed at CES had the option of being gray or white, but the range of colors will be expanded in the future.
What is E Ink Technology?
E Ink electronic ink technology is an alternative to regular printed books, giving readers even more freedom. E Ink screens are as close as possible to a printed book page in terms of optical properties. E Ink can be read for hours without any negative effects, just like a printed book. Unlike smartphones and tablets, reading from E Ink screens is harmful to the eyes. Eyes do not get tired due to the reflective properties of the screen.
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