BMW has revealed a spectacular colour-changing car at the CES show that can switch between black and white shades.
The feature was demonstrated on the firm’s iX electric SUV and is said to use electrophoretic technology.
Called BMW iX Flow, it involves a body wrap that is specifically designed to the lines of the car and uses electronic signals that bring different colour pigments to the surface. This has the effect of changing the colour.
The wrap uses the same technology found in eReaders such as the Kindle. There are millions of microcapsules with a diameter equivalent to the thickness of a human hair. Stimulating these capsules with electricity brings either the black or white pigments to the surface of the capsule, giving the car its colour.
The E Ink technology offers ‘unprecedented potential for personalisation’, giving the driver the ability to change their car’s style based on their mood, environmental conditions or even functional requirements.
Functional changes can help to improve the efficiency of the vehicle. For example, using white on a hot day will reflect more sunlight, which could take a little strain off of the air conditioning system.
Meanwhile, having a darker colour on a cool day can maximise the warmth absorbed by the car naturally. BMW says in both cases, changing the colour to suit the weather could help the electric vehicle travel further.
Stella Clarke, head of project for the BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink, said: “This gives the driver the freedom to express different facets of their personality or even their enjoyment of change outwardly, and to redefine this each time they sit into their car.
“Similar to fashion or the status ads on social media channels, the vehicle then becomes an expression of different moods and circumstances in daily life.”