The Advancements of BMW Technology – Digital Color-Changing Car Skins
Almost right after announcing new concepts for mobility and other soon-to-be technologies, BMW flaunted the BMW i Vision Dee, a futuristic medium-sized sedan with industry-first emotional features. Samantha Foss says that the automaker premiered the idea during the recent CES trade show in Las Vegas on Thursday, January 5, 2023.
Dee, an acronym for Digital Emotional Experience, is in keeping with BMW’s aim to create stronger, lasting bonds between people, their vehicles, and the vehicles’ technological capabilities.
BMW’s i Vision Dee: Coming to The Roads in 2025
The i Vision Dee concept car gave people a look at what they can expect from the automaker’s Neue Klasse vehicles that will be hitting the roads in 2025 and beyond. BMW states they see that year and these cars as the brand’s next generation, catapulting them into its electrified and oh-so-digital future.
A Step Up from the iX Flow Featuring E Ink
In 2022, the company announced its iX Flow Featuring E Ink, an electric iX sport utility vehicle boasting the ability to switch between black and white. With just one push of a button, the iX Flow changes color using the Electronic Paper Display (EPD) technology.
The two-tone color change is, of course, wonderfully sleek. And BMW mentioned drivers’ ability to turn their cars white on hot days and black during cold climates for maximum energy-saving.
However, the version debuted during this year’s CES trade show, i Vision Dee, is a massive step up. Unlike its predecessor, the sedan can display up to 32 colors configured as patterns or solid colors. The car goes way beyond any type of vehicular customization the world has seen so far.
Oliver Zipse, the chairman of the board of management at BMW AG, said that the concept car showcases the bountiful possibilities that can occur when software and hardware merge. The i Vision Dee harnesses the unlimited power of digitalization, allowing drivers to turn their cars into intelligent counterparts.
Alongside many other industry experts, Zipse believes that this is the future for all vehicle manufacturers — mixing driving pleasure with virtual experiences.
How BMW’s i Vision Dee Color-Changing Car Works
BMW collaborated with E Ink, a world-renowned smart surfaces tech company, to create the materials suitable for vehicular applications.
As demonstrated during the trade show, the i Vision Dee is split into 240 E Ink sections of film. Each panel can be controlled individually, allowing drivers to display different colors (and even patterns) on each segment.
Amazingly, the patterns can be crafted and changed within mere seconds. It’s a far cry from the long-winded approach many may have expected upon hearing the announcement.
Naturally, E Ink had the technology available to craft BMW’s vision. However, it needed adapting to fit curved surfaces and animation programming.
The in-house engineering teams at the BMW Group handled both tasks. As such, the customization is entirely bespoke and different from anything else seen in the automotive industry around the world.
In 2025, the roads will be a colorful space, packed with futuristic, tech-advanced vehicles.