BMW does not want future customers to be concerned about the colour of their next automobile or the movies that are now showing in theatres.
The German manufacturer introduced the iX Flow, a new concept vehicle with color-changing "E Ink," at the CES technology conference this week. It also unveiled a new 31-inch in-car "BMW Theatre Screen" with Amazon Fire TV, which would be included in future production models.
The fluid colour changes are made possible by a specially manufactured body wrap that is matched to the curves of the all-electric car and is similar to the material used in an Amazon Kindle E-Reader. According to BMW, electrophoretic technology delivers distinct colour pigments to the surface when triggered by electrical signals, causing the body skin to take on the chosen colouring.
The colour change is "sort of wacky," according to Stella Clarke, project lead for BMW iX Flow using E Ink, but it could have "some good use cases." She claims it allows for more self-expression, as well as the ability to display messages such as charging status and blink if it is lost in a crowded parking lot.
During a press conference, she added, "We see a lot of sensible use cases behind it."
The car in question is BMW's new iX electric SUV, although the color-changing technology won't be available until later this year. The color-changing technology isn't set to go into production right now, according to Clarke, but there may be "a road for" it in the future.
Concept vehicles are frequently used by automakers to assess customer interest, demonstrate possible technology, or represent the future direction of a vehicle or brand.
The BMW iX Flow with E Ink can only change colours on a white, grey, and black scale, but authorities say the technology may theoretically offer other colours.
BMW officials stated that the "BMW Theatre Screen" is much closer to manufacturing. It has a 31-inch panorama display with a resolution of up to 8K and a 32:9 aspect ratio. It also has smart TV features. The screen is lowered from the vehicle's headliner to the back row.
"For pure driving pleasure, we create immersive, digital experiences." The rear of the cabin is turned into a private cinema lounge in Theatre Mode," said Frank Weber, a member of BMW AG's board of management. "An unparalleled experience is generated with the 31-inch monitor, 5G connectivity, 8K resolution, surround sound, and individual streaming programme, setting new benchmarks for in-car entertainment."