A year ago, BMW showed off what it called the world’s first color-changing car at CES. The exterior of the iX Flow concept had e-ink panels that could shift between shades of black and gray. Now, only a year later, BWM’s latest concept can change the exterior to a rainbow of 32 different colors.
During the BMW keynote at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show, BMW unveiled two fun new “i Vision Dee” concept cars. Dee stands for Digital Emotional Experience, showcasing a future where a car can respond to an owner’s mood or surroundings and instantly change colors.
And while the neat color-changing trick stole the show, that’s not the only thing special about Dee. These concept sedans debuted a slew of technologies that could soon be in our vehicles, whether an AI-powered virtual assistant that talks to you or the entire windshield being one big heads-up display.
I’ve timestamped the video below so you can watch Dee changing through a full palette of colors with different body panels quickly changing colors on the fly. Even the wheels change color, which is pretty neat.
One version of the car replaced its traditional “grille” with a display, which still had headlights and typical grille designs but would then open and close eyes and show emotion. It was part of BMW’s bigger concept where a car’s “user interface” could talk to you with an assistant, show emotion, then match those emotions by the entire exterior changing colors.
BMW’s Concept Dee vehicle has over 240 e-ink panels on the outside, and each one can make individual changes. As a result, the car can be one color or transform into a rainbow of colors.
E Ink’s ultra-low power display technology shown here is similar to what’s in an Amazon Kindle, but obviously on a far bigger scale. And while this is only a concept right now, the automaker mentioned that this tech could be closer to production than you’d imagine.
The goal is to offer “spray-on” E ink paint which could improve the entire experience while matching the contours of a vehicle. Who knows, maybe in a few years, your all-electric SUV will have emotions or change colors to match the mood and vibe. We’ll have to wait and see.