BMW has taken its e-ink technology to a new level for 2023. At CES 2023, it unveiled a new concept vehicle known as the BMW iVision Dee. This car features a second generation of e-ink that can change the colour of the exterior paintwork, not just between black and white as we saw in 2022, but a full range of colours.
This would mean that the driver can customise the colour of their car to suit their mood or style. The way the e-ink panels work means that the vehicle doesn’t need to be a single colour either. Different colours can be used to create patterns, stripes or even to communicate with other drivers.
What’s the benefit of colour changing paintwork?
The colour-changing paintwork provided by the e-ink panels provides the ultimate in vehicle customisation. Think of it like a vehicle wrap that you can change at a whim, rather than at a cost of thousands each time. It means that you can completely change the look and feel of the car in the same way you change your phone’s lock screen.
Colour changing has other benefits than just looks though. The panels can be used to communicate with other road users in the case of a potential collision or accident. It can also be used to help you find your car in a busy car park or to just welcome your arrival. The augmented reality windscreen can also be used to display personalised information on your approach.
When will we see e-ink panels on real cars?
The BMW iVision Dee and the colour e-ink panels are still very much concepts at this time, and there's no immediate plan to bring them to a regular car. However, that doesn't mean it's not coming.
It could be that we see smaller-scale versions of the e-ink panels introduced. Perhaps a single panel on the grill or on the door, before moving to full car coverage. For now, though, it's nice to see the possibilities of this technology in action.