BMW has unveiled a car that changes colour at the touch of a button. This innovation was fitted to the iX Flow featuring the E Ink concept, enabling it to seamlessly switch from black to white.
This E Ink technology, which is also used in Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, provides a whole new level of personalisation. It is used by being applied to the car’s body like a vinyl wrap.
Frank Weber, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development, said: “Digital experiences won’t just be limited to displays in the future. There will be more and more melding of the real and virtual. With the BMW iX Flow, we are bringing the car body to life.”
According to BMW, changing the vehicle’s colour can help to cut the amount of cooling and heating required from the vehicle’s air conditioning. A lighter colour can reduce reflect sunlight more effectively, and a darker colour will help the vehicle absorb noticeably more warmth from the sun.
The vehicle can also be made more visible in adverse conditions and when parked at the roadside.
The coating contains many millions of microcapsules, with a diameter equivalent to the thickness of a human hair. Each of these microcapsules contains negatively charged white pigments and positively charged black pigments. Depending on the chosen setting, stimulation by means of an electrical field causes either the white or the black pigments to collect at the surface of the microcapsule, giving the car body the desired shade.