At the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas BMW unveiled a new exterior colour changing technology developed with E Ink for the BMW iX.
BMW said the prospective “future technology” would allow consumers to change the exterior shade of their vehicles, while E Ink said BMW has the creative freedom to customise the patterns and materials.
“Digital experiences won’t just be limited to displays in the future,” said Frank Weber, BMW AG, Development Board of Management member. “There will be more and more melding of the real and virtual, and with the BMW iX Flow, we are bringing the car body to life.”
Since it’s still a concept, E Ink US regional business unit assistant vice president Tim O’Malley said: “How a manufacturer would go into actual production would determine the repair process. However, because it’s a film, a collision repairer can assume that repairing a section of the car would also suggest a section of the film would be replaced as well.”
The electronic ink is made up of millions of microcapsules filled with white and black pigments that are moved up or down using an electric field to change the surface colour. A specially developed body wrap is tailored precisely to the contours of BMW’s all-electric Sports Activity Vehicle.
E Ink added that the “innovative and rugged” digital paper paired with BMW’s intelligent design algorithms enables the exterior to change from black to white in a dynamic flow with the use of its programmable and flexible E Ink Prism film – a form of digital paper. Laser cut ePaper segments are applied then the power supply for stimulating the electrical field is connected and the entire body is warmed and sealed.
But it isn’t just about outward appearances. A switch to black, or a darker colour will absorb more warmth from the sun and white, or a lighter colour will reflect sunlight to decrease interior heating during warm weather. Either way, the right colour change will reduce strain on the vehicle because electric heat and air will be used less. BMW plans to eventually offer the technology inside its vehicles.
O’Malley said the technology is found in eReaders, cell phones, medical wearables, logistical tags and digital signs. “Because E Ink is incredibly low power, durable and flexible, we can put the display technology on nearly any surface, transforming it into something dynamic and spectacular. As a first-of-its-kind concept car, the BMW iX Flow shows what’s possible – how we may experience the world around us in the future.”
The tech concept comes after BMW’s introduction of a new robotic technology in October that allows the application of several colours and designs without stencils or masking, which will be piloted outside the OEM’s own fleet this year.
This article courtesy of John Huetter of Repairer Driven Education. Check out the website at: http://www.repairerdrivennews.com/.