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Changing Shades of a Car in the Blink of a Thought – BMW IX Flow Meets Neurotechnology

Change is always just around the corner, and BMW always takes advantage of it, bringing the future even more closer. 
BMW iX Flow 10 photos
BMW iX FlowBMW iX FlowBMW iX FlowBMW iX FlowBMW iX FlowDelegates connected to BMW iX Flow at rad°hubDelegates connected to BMW iX Flow at rad°hubDelegates connected to BMW iX Flow at rad°hubStella Clarke, Head of Project for the BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink
With the ocasion of CES 2022, BMW Group unveiled the iX Flow featuring E Ink, a unique vehicle capable of changing its entire body color shade at the touch of a button. This was a world's premiere, since no other car was capable to "bring the car body to life," as Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG said. 

E Ink is an innovative technology that opens completely new ways of changing the vehicle's appearance in line with the driver's aesthetic preferences, the environmental conditions or even functional requirements, connecting human preferences with sustainable solutions for the environment, in order to keep Planet-Earth our home. 

Why is color so important for BMW? "This gives the driver the freedom to express different facets of their personality or even their enjoyment of change outwardly, and to redefine this each time they sit into their car" says Stella Clarke, Head of Project for the BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink. "Similar to fashion or the status ads on social media channels, the vehicle then becomes an expression of different moods and circumstances in daily life." 

On the other hand, selective color changes can save car's energy and mantain a pleasant ambient for all passengers, by cutting the amount of cooling and heating required from the vehicle's air conditioning. The exterior will change to a light color when the weather is hot, avoiding the vehicle and passenger compartment to heat up, while a darker exterior will help the vehicle absorb noticeably more warmth from the sun. 

How is this done? The surface coating of the BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink contains many millions of microcapsules, with a diameter equivalent to the thickness of a human hair. Each of these microcapsules contains negatively charged white pigments and positively charged black pigments. Depending on the chosen setting, stimulation by means of an electrical field causes either the white or the black pigments to collect at the surface of the microcapsule, giving the car body the desired shade. 

Now, after almost 6 months, BMW iX Flow meets neurotechnology! When innovative minds come together, great things happen. With the virtuous purpose of raising awarness over mental health, the Munich-based startup brainboost, BMW Group and rad°hub started a one-off collaboration, making the BMW iX Flow's skin change depending on one's brain's activity. rad°hub participants were connected using an electroencephalograph (EEG), which records the brain’s electrical activity. “The color patterns of the BMW iX Flow react to brain activity and reflect the level of activity”, explains brainboost CEO Philipp Heiler. “Once the brain is at rest, the changes of patterns on the iX Flow also become calmer and more rhythmical.” The aim of brainboost is to help people manage their brain activity when they want to relax in everyday life. 

brainboost uses the fundamentals of neuroscience and data-based measurement techniques – most notably EEGs for measuring electrical activity in the brain – for the purpose of clarification and prevention, as well as for enhancing quality of life and mental performance.

rad°hub is a space for creative minds where the challenges of future mobility are discussed by visionary thinkers and opinion leaders from all over the world. 

press release

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