BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)

Munich. Digitisation is delivering an integrated user
experience characterised by individuality and emotionalisation in the
interior of current BMW models. The My Modes allow the driver to
tailor the atmosphere in the interior entirely to their personal mood
and the driving experience they want. With the BMW iX Flow featuring E
Ink being presented on the occasion of CES 2022, the Munich-based
premium car manufacturer is offering the prospect of a future
technology that uses digitisation to also adapt the exterior of a
vehicle to different situations and individual wishes. The surface of
the BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink can vary its shade at the driver’s prompting.

Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG,
Development:
“Digital experiences won’t just be
limited to displays in the future. 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.”

The fluid colour changes are made possible by a specially developed
body wrap that is tailored precisely to the contours of the
all-electric Sports Activity Vehicle from BMW. When stimulated by
electrical signals, the electrophoretic technology brings different
colour pigments to the surface, causing the body skin to take on the
desired colouration. Adrian van Hooydonk, Head of BMW Group Design:
“The BMW iX Flow is an advanced research and design project and a
great example of the forward thinking that BMW is known for.”

The innovative E Ink technology opens completely new ways of changing
the vehicle’s appearance in line with the driver’s aesthetic
preferences, the environmental conditions or even functional
requirements. The technology thus offers unprecedented potential for
personalisation in the area of exterior design. The BMW iX Flow
featuring E Ink demonstrates this potential to impressive effect.
Against this background, the BMW Group is driving the development of
the technology so that a new form of personalisation can be
experienced both on the outside and in the inside of future production vehicles.

Already today, the colour chosen for a car is an expression of the
driver’s personality. The choice of exterior paints available for
current BMW models covers a wide colour spectrum. In this way, the
longing for a wildly expressive, extravagant, or sporty appearance on
the outside can be taken into account as well as the desire for an
understated, subtle or elegant appearance. New variants are added each
year that reflect the characteristics of the model in question and
that allow the brand to keep setting trends in the area of exterior design.

New technologies will provide a whole new level of decision-making
freedom in the future. “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,” says Stella Clarke, Head of Project for the BMW iX
Flow featuring E Ink. “Similar to fashion or the status ads on
social media channels, the vehicle then becomes an expression of
different moods and circumstances in daily life.”

How a variable exterior colour can increase
efficiency.
A variable exterior colour can also
contribute to wellness in the interior and to the efficiency of the
vehicle. This is done by taking account of the different abilities of
light and dark colours when it comes to reflecting sunlight and the
associated absorption of thermal energy. A white surface reflects a
lot more sunlight than a black one. By implication, heating of the
vehicle and passenger compartment as a result of strong sunlight and
high outside temperatures can be reduced by changing the exterior to a
light colour. In cooler weather, a dark outer skin will help the
vehicle to absorb noticeably more warmth from the sun.

In both cases, selective colour changes can help to cut the amount of
cooling and heating required from the vehicle’s air conditioning. This
reduces the amount of energy the vehicle electrical system needs and
with it also the vehicle’s fuel or electricity consumption. In an
all-electric car, changing the colour in line with the weather can
therefore also help to increase the range. In the interior, the
technology could, for example, prevent the dashboard from heating up
too much.

E Ink technology itself is extremely energy efficient. Unlike
displays or projectors, the electrophoretic technology needs
absolutely no energy to keep the chosen colour state constant. Current
only flows during the short colour changing phase.

Millions of paint capsules in a custom wrap.

Electrophoretic colouring is based on a technology
developed by E Ink that is most well-known from the displays used in
eReaders. 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 at the surface of the microcapsule, giving the car body the
desired shade.

Achieving this effect on a vehicle body involves the application of
many precisely fitted ePaper segments. Generative design processes are
implemented to ensure the segments reflect the characteristic contours
of the vehicle and the resulting variations in light and shadow. The
generative design algorithms enable the necessary formability and
flexibility required to tailor the ePaper exactly to the design lines
of the vehicle.

Laser cutting technologies guarantee high precision in generating
each segment. After the segments are applied and the power supply for
stimulating the electrical field is connected, the entire body is
warmed and sealed to guarantee optimum and uniform colour reproduction
during every colour change.

BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
Stella Clarke, Project Lead BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
Stella Clarke, Project Lead BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
Dirk Müller-Stolz, Head of BMW i Exterior Design with the BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
Dirk Müller-Stolz, Head of BMW i Exterior Design with the BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink
(prototype not on sale)
Stella Clarke, Project Lead BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink and Dirk Müller-Stolz, Head of BMW i Exterior Design with the BMW iX Flow
(prototype not on sale)

This content was originally published here.