BMW shows off color-changing exterior paint on iX Flow at CES

Jan. 6 (UPI) -- BMW showcased color-changing exterior paint on its all-electric iX Flow concept SUV at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The color change to the body surface from black to white to shades of grey was made possible due to electrophoretic technology, BMW said in a statement on the display.


"Digital experiences won't just be limited to displays in the future," Frank Weber, board member of Management of BMW AG for Development in the statement.

"There will be more and more melding of the real and virtual. With the BMW iX Flow, we are bringing the car body to life," Weber said.

Specially formed wrapping has been tailored to the exterior surface of the SUV to enable the E-Ink technology to change the car's color at the press of a button, CNN and Bloomberg reported.

"Electrophoretic coloring is based on a technology developed by E Ink that is most well known from the displays used in eReaders," BMW explained in a statement. "The surface coating of the BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink contains many millions of microcapsules, with a diameter equivalent to the thickness of a human hair."


"Each of these microcapsules contains negatively charged white pigments and positively charged black pigments. Depending on the chosen setting, stimulation by means of an electrical field causes either the white or the black pigments to collect the surface of the microcapsule, giving the car body the desired shade," BMW said.

The German car manufacturer presented the showcase at CES 2022 Wednesday.

Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW's head of design, referred to the iX Flow concept as "an advanced research and design project," in the company statement.

The statement cited advantages of the color change, including adaptability to seasonal changes, such as the ability of a white surface to absorb less heat in the summer, and a black surface to absorb more of the sun's warmth in the winter.

Stella Clarke, project leader for the iX Flow, cited decision-making as another advantage.

"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," Clarke said in the statement.

The company previously announced a My Modes feature in iDrive 8 for iX SUV, and i4 sedan.

This will allow drivers to tailor ambient lighting in the interior, the design of dashboard displays and steering feel and throttle response, among other features, to their personal preferences.


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