The German luxury automobile manufacturer, BMW, has launched the world’s first “color-changing” car at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the most influential tech event in the world, which began on January 5 and will last till January 8 in Las Vegas.
This updated version of BMW’s electric iX SUV can change color from black to white in order to suit the driver’s mood while also conserving electricity. The concept car, named iX Flow, is wrapped in E Ink’s ‘digital paper‘ technology normally used to form the screen of the Kindle e-reader.
When stimulated by an electrical impulse controlled by a mobile app, it can change color in an one fluid motion, allowing the driver to match the car to their personal style or the weather. Turning the car reflective white on sunny days and heat-absorbing black in the winter could help reduce the electric vehicle’s energy usage and thus extend its range.
“This is really energy efficient color change using the technology E Ink. So we took this material, it’s kind of a thick paper, and our challenge was to get this on a 3D object like our cars. In the future, the changes would also be controlled by a button on the car’s dashboard or perhaps even by hand gestures,” said Ms. Stella Clarke, BMW research engineer.
Although BMW has not yet announced plans to integrate the technology into its actual fleet, the carmaker is currently working on adapting it for different parts of the car, including the interior. According to the company, future applications could include a color-changing dashboard that will not overheat and a flashing exterior that can help the driver find their car.
Though the vehicle on display at CES could only switch between gray and white, BMW claims that the technology will be expanded to consider a wide range of colors.