BMW shows off colour shifting car at CES

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Next level RGB is here, but for now it’s only on this BMW, as opposed to a sweet gaming rig. Though with the current chip shortage, I have an equal amount of chance of getting my hands on it, so pay attention to this cool color-changing paint job.

According to Pleasure tripBMW claimed to be showing a car at CES this year that can change colors at the touch of a button. Now, the videos have surfaced (thanks iFLScience) in color-changing car action, and it’s simultaneously a bit chilly and nowhere near as good as I had hoped. A bit like Dave James wearing a Razor Zephyr mask.

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The first video posted on Twitter shows the panels of BMW’s all-electric IX models going from white to a dark gunmetal-looking brown. So there’s absolutely no color changing as far as shifting between colors, but it’s still pretty neat.

The post states that the technology is apparently quite temperature sensitive, which is going to be a deterrent to releasing it to consumers. Although it is not explained how it works, it may be that temperature plays a role in determining the colours, so this may be the reason. Others are suggesting that it may be using e-ink, like a Kindle which may be true given the gray shade palette.

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The way the color changes in this particular video looks almost like the way different sea creatures can change their color and texture to disguise themselves. You can almost see this car hiding in the tunnel and changing colors to avoid the five star rating. Here’s a video of one of my favorites, the mimic octopus, which can do much more than an octopus.

The second video, which can be found on TikTok and was reposted on Reddit, shows a more comprehensive approach to change. This time the car seems to fade from white to dark grey. Given these two distinct variations, there may be potential for optimization in how the colors change, or perhaps even for animations down the line.

bmws_color_change_car_shown_at_ces From r/blackmagicfuckery

The technology to change colors on the actual physical exterior of things like cars or appliances is one step I’ve been waiting for. I’m already a big fan of messing with RGB to give my setup a complete look, so this is a step in the right direction. Being able to change the overall look of your laptop, phone, desktop, or really anything at the touch of a button will bring instant and easy comfort. We won’t see this in consumer grade technology for long to come, but I’ll be inline for the first time when we do.

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