The German car manufacturer BMW unveiled the world’s first color-changing car at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
The concept car, called the BMW iX Flow, uses e-ink technology typically found in e-readers to transform the car’s exterior into a variety of gray and white patterns.
The BMW iX Flow concept car on the BMW booth during the CES Tech Show in Las Vegas.
E Ink Technology
“This is a really energy efficient color change using E Ink technology,” explained BMW Research Engineer Stella Clarke. “We took this material – it’s a kind of thick paper – and our challenge was to get it into a 3D object like our cars.”
When stimulated by electrical signals controlled by a phone app, the material brings different pigments to the surface, causing the car to take on a different tone or design, like racing stripes.
In the future, shifts would also be controlled with a button on the car’s dashboard or, perhaps, even with hand gestures, Clarke said.
According to BMW, no energy is needed to maintain the color selected by the driver.
“Influence reflections of sunlight”
“My favorite case is using color to influence reflections in sunlight,” Clarke said. “On a hot sunny day like today, you can change the color white to reflect the sunlight. On a cold day, you can change it to black to absorb the heat.”
Although the vehicle on display at CES could only switch between gray and white, the technology will be expanded to cover a spectrum of colors, according to BMW.
FEW (Reuters, CNN)