BMW wants to let you change the color of your car with the touch of a button.
The automaker has debuted a concept vehicle called the BMW iX Flow, based on the iX SUV, which uses electrophoretic technology to change colors from black to white or combine black and white in a kaleidoscope of graphics across the surface of its body.
"The car dresses you, it expresses you--not just from the inside but from the outside--so we have tried to create a technology and adapted it to the car that allows you to do that," Christoph Grote, senior vice president of electronics at BMW, said during a roundtable interview during the launch.
Grote said that being able to change a vehicle from dark to light while driving under hot temperatures would help with efficiency and thermal regulation inside the vehicle.
BMW worked with a company called E-Ink to develop the application for vehicles. Founded in 1997, E-Ink developed the technology used in Kindle readers and commercial displays for such brands as Sony and Amazon.
BMW's application of e-ink works via a wrap tailored to cover the entire body of the SUV. The wrap contains different color pigments that, when stimulated by various electrical signals, will rise to the surface of the skin, causing it to change hue.
"The challenge is not so much as the technology but how to apply it to the car," Grote said. "The special thing with the car is: How do you shape it into a three-dimensional surface? So, they are laser cutting it into a three-dimensional curved screen."