New technology lets BMW car change colors on demand

The new BMW MyModes customized vehicle experience debuted at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The new technology roster included the introduction of a color-changing car, unique sounds, virtual art designs and a Theater Mode showpiece by Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer.

Innovations came together in the BMW iX Flow concept vehicle.

“The digital experience will not be limited to what appears to be the future,” said Frank Weber, a member of the management board of BMW AG, Development. “There will be more and more amalgamation of the real and the virtual. With the BMW iX Flow, we are bringing the car body to life.”

E Ink

BMW iX Flow features E Ink, which customizes the exterior color of the vehicle based on user input. The transformation is made possible by a specially tailored body wrap for the vehicle that uses electrophoretic technology to transform the body skin to the driver’s wish.

Exterior color changes also increase the iX Flow’s efficiency and interior comfort by reflecting sunlight in lighter tones, cooling the vehicle or warming it with a darker color, which requires less effort from the climate system.

Unlike projectors or displays, E Ink doesn’t require energy to maintain, it only uses short bursts of energy for color changes.

Stella Clark, Project Head, BMW iX Flow, said, “It allows the driver to express his enjoyment of change in different aspects of his personality or even outwardly and reinvent it every time he gets in his car. Freedom to define.” “Similar to fashion or status advertisements on social media channels, the vehicle then becomes an expression of the various moods and situations in daily life.”

BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink is pictured in a handout photo from the automaker.
BMW of America, LLC.

digital art mode

BMW is also bringing customization qualities to the interior with the introduction of its Digital Art Mode by Chinese multimedia artist Cao Fei. The My Modes feature aims to create a highly personalized user experience on an emotional and functional level that can be created at the touch of a button or via voice control.

Features like drive and steering controls, mood lighting and sound can be personalized with the color scheme and graphics of the BMW Curved Display.

Digital Art Mode will be made available in select BMW series vehicles in 2022.

bmw theater screen

Theater Mode turns the back seat of a vehicle into a private cinema lounge with surround sound. This mode focuses on a roughly 31-inch, 8K BMW theater screen that connects to the Internet and streaming services via 5G.

BMW IX Theater Screen
Preview the in-car entertainment of future models with the BMW Theater Screen.
BMW of America, LLC.

The large screen tucks into the headliner when not in use. It can be controlled using touch operation or the touch pad integrated into the rear doors. The BMW Group is working with Amazon to offer entertainment through the Fire TV, something Jeep vehicles already deliver to customers.

BMW IconicSounds Electric

With the new BMW IconicSounds Electric feature, customers can choose to extract unusual sounds from the conventional sounds of electric vehicles through the company’s IconicSounds Electric feature. BMW teamed up with Grammy and Academy Award winning film score composer Hans Zimmer to create the sounds that give the new SUV a unique acoustic character.

Drive sound varies by vehicle and requires the driver to select the My Mode option.

My Mode is activated using a button on the center console. In My Mode Personal – the default setting in the BMW iX – the BMW Iconic Sounds Electric uses a circular sound pattern and several tonal components to convey a basic acoustic mood. My Mode Comfort is the default setting in the BMW i4.

Both modes have an acoustic pedestrian warning sound, which is usually required by law or federal regulation.

my mode digital art
My Mode Digital Art “Quantum Garden” by multimedia artist Cao Fei.
BMW of America, LLC.

The arrival of the BMW IconicSounds Electric comes with the announcement of two additional settings, Expressive and Relax. BMW is expressive with high-contrast neon colors and abstract patterns on the curved display. Its underlying tonal has a violin tone.

When the vehicle is accelerating, this mode emits another high-pitched sound, altering the harmonies in several stages as the vehicle speeds up. The first full chord is heard when the vehicle reaches 37 mph, followed by the second full chord at 175 mph.

BMW IconicSounds Electric will be available first for the BMW i4 in the first half of 2022 and then for the BMW iX in the second half of 2022. These can be imported into suitably equipped vehicles via remote software upgrade.