BMW presented a technology that will undoubtedly be appreciated by all those who can never decide on a car color or those who get bored easily and want to change it regularly.
At CES 2022 (Consumer Electronics Show, one of the most important technological events of the year for different industries, including automotive), the prestigious German brand presented a system that allows you to change the color of one of its vehicles in a simple way, perhaps changing the future of the industry.
This technology is currently a concept and will not be included in any of BMW’s upcoming launches, but we could see it arrive in the next few years. With the idea presented at CES, we can expect other brands to be inspired to create something similar.
The concept looks like it’s straight out of a James Bond movie, and while it seems to involve futuristic technology, it actually has many similarities to how e-books like Amazon’s Kindle work, as the main component is the electronic ink (or E Ink, as it’s called) in these devices.
E Ink, used in e-books and other devices, is a color-changing paint technology. Explanation: “The surface coating of the BMX iX Flow with E Ink contains several million 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 configuration chosen, the simulation of an electric field causes the pigments, black or white, to gather on the surface of the microcapsule, giving the car the desired hue.”
Of course, given the above, this technology only allows you to go from black to white and the darks in between, so you can get a light silver in one spot, or an absolute black. If in the morning you want light and in the evening you want dark, this can be achieved with this technology which would work via a single, simple button.
Also, according to BMW experts, this color scheme can have an impact on electric vehicles (which is where the technology should be integrated in the future).
It is mentioned that a white surface reflects more sunlight than a black surface, so vehicle and passenger heating can be reduced by changing the color. This would minimize energy consumption. On the other hand, in cold climates, black could absorb more heat from the sun. However, it was not mentioned whether the constant color changes also have an impact on energy.
There are still many questions about this technology and how it might work outdoors in different climates. That’s why it’s still a concept that will be refined in the coming months or years until it can actually be integrated into the market.
BMW’s vision is interesting in that it’s not just focusing on the interiors – as it’s used to in electric cars, creating true technology hubs in each car – but it’s now moving to the exterior in a design change that really breaks with everything we’ve seen before.
Meanwhile, BMW unveiled its latest electric car, the BMW iX (this technology was integrated into its presentation) which promises to be one of the best of the future with high speed and massive autonomy. There is no doubt that the sector is evolving by leaps and bounds and that the future is really close.