BMW reveals first colour-changing car
BMW’s has unveiled its “i Vision Dee” concept car, a midsize electric sports sedan covered in futuristic panels that can change colour on demand.
The German premium carmarker unveiled its concept car, i Vision Dee, at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, calling it is the world’s first colour-changing car.
The i Vision Dee has the ability to change between different solid exterior colors and create mix-and-match combinations thanks to its various E Ink panel segments. The new concept car is a considerable step forward for BMW, surpassing the version it presented last year that could only alternate between black, white and gray.
“With the BMW i Vision Dee, we are showcasing what is possible when hardware and software merge,” said Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management at BMW AG.
E Ink display tech
The outer coating of the i Vision Dee was created with an upgraded version of the display tech from startup E Ink that the carmaker used to create the previous prototype, the iX Flow.
For their new, next generation concept car, BMW has fitted the vehicle with 240 E Ink segments, all of which are capable of displaying 32 different colors. Each of the segments is connected to a central processor that allows for the control of each E Ink panel and gives the i Vision Dee a nearly endless capacity for colour combinations.
According to E Ink, the display technology applied to the i Vision Dee can be used for a number of other purposes, namely e-reader screen displays or smartwatch displays.
Because its exterior can be so fully customized, the design of the new concept car is intentionally understated. “The design of BMW i Vision Dee has been consciously pared down. The exterior is defined by the classic three-box sedan design that forms the core of the BMW brand. Traditional design elements, like the BMW kidney grille, twin circular headlights and the Hofmeister kink, are reimagined, with phygital icons replacing analogue elements,” the company says in the press release.
The car’s outer appearance is also reflected in the interior, picking up on the same clean and straightforward design, one the company describes as “a clear design, tranquil colours, warm and textile surfaces create a pleasant feeling.”
DEE = Digital Emotional Experience
The i Vision DeeDee, whose “Dee” the carmaker says stands for “Digital Emotional Experience” has a lot of other high-tech features beyond its colour-changing capacity. According to BMW, the car will be able to adapt to the driver’s habits, suggest destinations, or entertainment programmes and provides information, news, calendar entries or social media posts.
“BMW i Vision Dee is about perfect integration of virtual and physical experiences. Whoever excels at integrating the customer’s everyday digital worlds into the vehicle at all levels will succeed in mastering the future of car-building,” says Frank Weber, BMW AG Board Member for Development.
To achieve this integration the car offers drivers an immersive experience, delivered by the BMW Mixed Reality Slider and the advanced BMW Head-Up-Display to deliver content that ranges from driving-related information to augmented-reality projection.
Namely, the BMW i Vision Dee can project information across the entire width of the windscreen using full-length colour head-up display (HUD), which is set to be the biggest car display area ever used.
Not all of the tech unveiled in the new concept car will be available to consumers in the foreseeable future, but the company says that some of the new features will be included in its NEUE KLASSE series from 2025 onwards.
For more Mobility news, click here.