Color Shifting? Why not Color Changing!

Most people know of the pearlescent paints that people buy to put on their cars. It provides a neat look to the vehicle where, depending on where the light is shining, can give off multiple colors from different angles. But there’s a new kind of chameleon in town…

Shown off at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) In Las Vegas, January 5th, BMW launched a new vehicle that introduced a unique exterior option that literally changes color. Instead of the body being painted in a specific color, each panel consisted of flow featuring E Ink.

What is it?

The best way to describe E Ink and how it works is that it coats the surface, about 1000 microns thick, using an E-readers scale going from white to black. Seen in the body are almost triangular screens in a way that are placed and sized based on the curvature of the vehicle (a curvier area would have many smaller triangles).

Possible Benefits of a Color Changing Exterior…

  • A mirror blinking in the direction of your turn, while using driver assisted AI, could completely replace the turn signal stalk function
  • If on a hot day, the car could change to white or on a cold day it could change to black to help with the thermal properties
  • It could detect you walking up to the vehicle and light up to greet you.


Considering that optional paints on a new car in the $50k-$100k range can be upwards of an additional $5000, E Ink can very well be a $10k-$15k option as a part of a “dynamics” package. Would it be worth it?

For a more thorough look at the concept, take a look at Shmee150’s YouTube video below:

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