BMW unveiled the iX Flow concept with e-ink coating
BMW designers like to experiment with futuristic variants of appearance of cars of the future and the other day they have presented the next masterpiece. The body of the car iX Flow entirely covered with panels of electronic ink, which change their color and brightness on command. It looks very impressive, but as acknowledged by the authors of novelties – expensive, complex and totally impractical.
In technical terms, the entire external surface of the iX Flow is considered a single pixel, which can change its color from white to dark gray, with a number of halftones in the transition. It can’t display complex patterns, you can’t display text, and multicolored images are out of the question. All the beauty from the video is created by the fact that the coating consists of several sets of panels, and the signal to switch between them is distributed with a specially selected delay.
It is not even a dream to produce such coatings in series. The design team first copied the three-dimensional surface parameters of a real machine and divided them into flat two-dimensional segments for printing. A complete paper version of the coating was created, and after adapting it, they began to cut the film with electronic ink according to the molds. We had to connect hundreds of wires to assemble the whole system, and then extremely carefully applied a transparent protective varnish. And anyway, this coating will not withstand contact with dirt, sand or snow.
No practical use of the innovation does not have, even the number of displayed patterns of course and quickly get bored. From the pluses we can note the extremely low power consumption of electronic ink in comparison with other systems of car lighting. Rather, it is a demonstration of the capabilities of modern technology, and the skills of BMW designers.