BMW made many announcements at CES 2022, including a powerful 610-horsepower electric vehicle titled the iX M60. But the star of the show was the flashy e-ink chameleon skin for its cars; the BMW iX flow.
Besides just a paint job, the BMW iX Flow is an electrophoretic layer on the car’s panels that allows it to change color at the press of a button.
The effect is truly mesmerizing, so check it out in the video below, beginning at the 3-minute mark.
E-ink is the new black
It’s pretty neat to watch the surface of your car turn into an e-ink screen, even if it is currently limited to black, white, and grayscale. We can’t wait to see a full-color version of the BMW iX flow down the road and the kinds of artistic possibilities that it entails.
The magic of it works by using currents to move electrically charged microcapsules of pigment around, so the e-ink name is appropriate. Although the technology itself isn’t new, it’s the first time we’ve seen it applied to an entire car so smoothly.
Aside from just aesthetics, there are also practical benefits to changing the color of your car on the fly. For instance, you could passively cool the car off in the summer by turning it white. Other types of EV’s may even get similar e-ink makeovers in the future.
On the other hand, there will inevitably be some legal concerns regarding these chameleon abilities. Insurance agencies may have trouble identifying scratches based on color, and police will have to have to reevaluate vehicle descriptions. Time will tell if BMW can help assuage these worries.