BMW’s Colour Changing Concept

In the future, changing your car’s colour could be as simple as the touch of a button.

By Bryan Hood 06/01/2022

It’s one thing to hear or read about technological innovation. It’s another to actually see it in action.

Take, for example, the colour-changing technology that BMW first teased last month in the lead up to CES 2022. It sounded intriguing at the time, but you’d be forgiven of scepticism. After all, how can a car change its own colour? Well, colour us impressed.

The German marque brought a battery-powered SUV to Las Vegas this year: the iX Flow. But this is no run of the mill CES EV concept. This new variant has a whole new kind of feature. Specifically, it can change its body colour with the simple touch of a button. Don’t believe it? Well, watch this video that was posted by the Out of Spec Studio’s Twitter account:

 

In the 12-second clip, you can see the SUV suddenly change from black to white. That alone would make for a solid demonstration of the aptly named E-Ink technology, but what happens next is even more striking. When another button is pressed, you see the colour shift happen in slow motion, with a small black section travelling across the body of the vehicle from front to back, leaving white behind after it passes. That means E ink can display multiple colours at once.

The new technology isn’t a paint, it’s a specially designed body wrap. When an electrical charge is applied to it, electrophoretic microcapsules embedded within the wrap bring different pigments to the surface, allowing the vehicle to take on that colour. It is similar to how an e-reader like the Amazon Kindle works. It would seem that the only colours available right now are white and black, but if BMW can get the wrap to display more colours, it’s not hard to see this becoming a very desirable feature. Imagine being able to change the colour of your car based on the occasion or just to reflect your mood?

BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink

BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink BMW

Although BMW has proven its colour-changing technology works, don’t expect it to be available as an option anytime soon. It’s clear there are some things that still need to be ironed out. In addition to more colour options, Out of Spec Studio’s tweet demonstrates that the technology is also temperature sensitive. We also have no idea how much it would cost, but we’d imagine it will change a car’s price substantially. Hey, the (colour) bleeding edge is never cheap.

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