BMW has partnered with E Ink, known for its e-readers and smartwatch displays, to develop a new concept car that features a display that changes color in real-time. The car, called the i Vision DEE, was showcased at CES 2023 and uses E Ink Prism 3, a bistable technology that only consumes minimal power. Users can change the car’s color through a smartphone app, which can display 32 colors via the 240 E Ink panels.
The surface of the car contains tiny programmable capsules full of electro-active pigments that change color in response to an applied current. Once a color is set, the Prism 3 no longer requires power and the materials on the car do not need to be connected to any energy source to retain that color. However, the E Ink technology does require durability improvements, and BMW and E Ink are working together to make it more resistant to car washes, bumps, scrapes, and weather.
E Ink Prism 3 is a versatile technology that can be used in a wide range of applications, from retail and consumer electronics, to appliances, apparel, and industrial goods. It is also flexible and durable, allowing manufacturers to cut, shape and integrate it onto any substrate. Additionally, it operates without relying on electric outlets, and runs on batteries and renewables.
The chief business and operating officer of E Ink Corp, Paul Apen, said that E Ink Prism creates unique experiences like never before and allows designers to create dynamic surfaces. He added that E Ink works to enable solutions that allow customers to design smarter devices for a sustainable future.
If successful, the color-changing cars may attract many consumers who want to save a few bucks from changing their car color in an auto shop. The low power consumption, and ability to produce patterns and colors makes E Ink Prism 3 ideal for surface displays, and the potential for its use in the car industry is great. BMW and E Ink are working together to bring this technology closer to the consumer market, and it will be interesting to see how this technology develops in the coming years.