People look at the BMW iX Flow prototype at the BMW booth during the CES tech show on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 in Las Vegas. iX Flow is a system that replaces conventional car paint with e-ink technology that allows the car to change color and design.
Joe Baglevich | AP
BMW doesn’t want prospective buyers to worry about what color their next car will be or what movies are in theaters.
The German automaker unveiled a new concept car called the iX Flow at this week’s CES technology conference with “e-ink” capable of changing colors. He also showcased a new 31-inch BMW car “theater screen” with Amazon Fire TV, which is expected to be used in future production vehicles.
The fluid color change is made possible by a specially designed body wrapper, similar to the material used in the Amazon Kindle E-Reader, which has been adapted to the contours of an all-electric vehicle. According to BMW, when stimulated with electrical signals, electrophoretic technology brings different color pigments to the surface, causing the skin to acquire the desired color.
BMW iX Flow with e-ink
Stella Clarke, project manager for BMW iX Flow with e-ink, said the color change is “a little crazy,” but could also offer “some useful use cases.” She said it offers more self-expression, can display messages like charging status and flash if you can’t find it in a crowded parking lot.
“We see many sensible use cases behind this,” she said during a media briefing.
The actual vehicle is BMW’s new iX electric SUV, but the color change technology won’t be ready anytime soon. Clarke said the color-changing technology is not planned to go into production at this time, but it may be “expensive” to do so in the future.
Automakers typically use concept cars to gauge customer interest or show potential technology or future direction for a vehicle or brand.
BMW iX Flow with e-ink can only change colors on a scale of white, gray and black, but officials said the technology could theoretically offer other colors as well.
The BMW Theater Screen is a 31-inch panoramic 32: 9 display with Smart TV features and up to 8K resolution.
The “BMW theater screen” is much closer to production, BMW officials said. It includes a 31-inch 32: 9 panoramic display with Smart TV functions and up to 8K resolution. The screen is lowered from the vehicle headliner and displayed in the back row.
“We design immersive digital experiences for pure driving pleasure. Theater mode transforms the rear of the cabin into a personal cinema, ”said Frank Weber, Member of the Management Board of BMW AG. “With a 31-inch display, 5G connectivity, 8K resolution, surround sound and personalized streaming, it creates an unprecedented experience that sets new standards in in-car entertainment.”