As a part of its marketing demonstration at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022 in Las Vegas, BMW has unveiled the prototype for an “E Ink” system for its cars. Vehicles covered with the E Ink, in a very chameleon-like manner, are able to transform their exterior coloration. And not in a gimmicky way either. More in a “Whoa, that’s totally CGI IRL” kind of way. (Apply Keanu Reeves’ voice where necessary.)
Engadget reported on BMW’s new E Ink, which BMW iX Flow project lead Stella Clark describes as a way for vehicle owners to express themselves. As well as personalize their cars. Clark, who describes the E Ink the BMWBLOG video below, notes it has a range of uses. From displaying information on the exterior of the car, such as battery status, to flashing if an owner’s unable to find their vehicle.
As BMWBLOG notes, the fluid color changes are possible thanks to a special body wrap that engineers have tailored to precisely fit the all-electric vehicle’s contours. When the special wrap—which is “electrophoretic”—is stimulated by electrical signals, different color pigments are brought to its surface; allowing for the car’s panels to take on either a black or white color, or some combination of the two. (Each pigment carries its own electric charge, and can therefore be manipulated by applied magnetic fields.)
Despite the fact that concept vehicles often remain just that, it appears as if BMW’s E Ink works well enough to dazzle. Videos of the vehicle at CES have already gone viral. And dare we say the cyber paint job looks even better out in the wild. In the below TikTok from user @klwtts, for example, the iFlex shimmers from white to black like Mystique.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like BMW’s E Ink is coming to market soon. Considering the iX’s starting price of over $83,000, we imagine it’d be quite a pricey add-on for the car anyway. Although still possibly worth it to feel like a cyberpunk soccer parent.