Check out BMW’s new color-changing concept car, the Vision Dee

What if the color of your car could change depending on your mood or the weather?

That’s the idea — or, at least, one of the ideas — behind BMW’s new “i Vision Dee” concept car, a mid-size electric sports sedan covered in futuristic panels that can change color on demand.

BMW describes it as the world’s first color-changing car. The Dee, which stands for “Digital Emotional Experience,” can switch between 32 different colors, the company said Thursday as it unveiled the car at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The car can move between 32 different solid exterior colors, with the ability to mix and match thanks to 240 different panel segments. It’s a significant jump from the previous version BMW introduced last year, which could only be switched between black, white and grey.

As with any concept vehicle, the technology behind the Dee’s color-changing capabilities is likely years away from consumer availability. Exposure to the elements in everyday driving — from car washes to flying insects — prevents high-tech panels from working in the real world, The Verge noted Thursday.

A photo composite shows some of the potential color combinations of the BMW concept car and the color-changing Vision Dee.

Source: BMW

For BMW, the car is meant to be a glimpse into what could end up being a much more colorful future. “This allows an almost infinite variety of patterns to be generated and varied within seconds,” the company said in its press release, which described the light show as a “magical display of color.”

Dee’s outer skin is a film made from electronic paper made by a startup called E Ink, which also makes display technology for e-readers and mobile phones. The coating segments contain millions of tiny microcapsules with different colored pigments that change shades when electricity is applied.

The electronic coating is “ultra-low power,” so changing the car’s colors won’t drain the electric vehicle’s battery, E Ink said in its own press release Thursday.

E Ink also said it is able to manufacture its panels in any shape imaginable – potentially leading to applications such as e-reader displays that mimic the look of real paper or more energy-efficient digital signage and smartwatch displays.

BMW hasn’t released specifications for the Dee’s engine or battery, but says the concept car is loaded with futuristic hardware and software that will be available in cars on the road by 2025.

These include BMW’s Head-Up Display, a digital dashboard that spans the entire width of the windshield. It also features a mixed reality slider, a touchscreen that lets you control how much digital content is displayed on that dashboard, from driving speed and battery range to music and text message controls.

The interior of BMW’s concept car and Vision Dee.

Source: BMW

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