CES show in Las Vegas: BMW invents the chameleon body

The brand with the propeller unveils a world premiere of a vehicle capable of changing color quickly and at the touch of a button. Explanation around the so-called “electrophoretic” technology…

Imagine a car whose color you can change just by desire, in a few seconds and by simply pressing a button! This technology now exists and it was BMW who co-developed it, then presented it last week at the CES show in Las Vegas. The Munich firm could not find a better opportunity than the great annual and world high-tech fair to unveil this invention, which is based on so-called “electrophoretic” technology. Avant-gardism obliges, it is the electric flagship of the brand, the iX, which served as a technological demonstrator to widen the eyes of visitors to CES. Called iX Flow, this prototype features technology developed in partnership with E Ink, an American firm specializing in electronic ink processes used in e-readers. Like this one, the iX Flow concept incorporates a similar film composed of millions of pigments capable of reacting to a weak electric current. Concretely, when this current is activated (by pressing a button), the electrophoretic technology brings different color pigments to the surface, causing the bodywork to take on the desired hue.

In Vegas, the concept on display changed from white to dark gray and back again in seconds. That said and according to those responsible for the project, it is indeed possible to achieve the same thing with other colors. Even better, the user can choose the areas to be “colored” and vary the shades as they wish, which opens up new avenues of exterior customization. Something to intrigue the most skeptical and at the same time arouse a certain euphoria among the leaders of the brand. “The BMW iX Flow is an advanced research and design project, an excellent example of the forward thinking that BMW is known for,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW Group Design Director. “In the future, digital experiences will not be limited to screens. There will be more and more fusion between the real and the virtual”, for his part promised Frank Weber, member of the board of directors of BMW AG in charge of development. Then to add: “With the BMW iX Flow, we give life to the body of the car”. However, it will be necessary to wait ten years, even several decades, to see this technology dress a car of series. Expensive, this innovation raises questions in more ways than one, particularly in the event of an accident. One thing is certain, it presents interesting outlets, whether in the military field (camouflage) or in everyday private cars which, for reasons of energy efficiency, would benefit from changing from a dark color to clear (or vice versa) depending on weather conditions. We’ll see…

Jalil Bennani / ECO Auto Inspirations

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