BMW’s colour-changing paint feature may have more uses than just curing boredom and indecisiveness

BMW’s colour-changing paint feature may have more uses than just curing boredom and indecisiveness
The BMW iX Flow can change colours with the press of a buttonBMW
  • German automaker BMW has come up with a novel solution to cure boredom and indecisiveness of its car buyers – colour-changing exteriors.
  • The technology, while still in its advanced research stages, might have more implications than just being gimmicky.
  • The concept was shown off on a BMW iX at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022.
At the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022, German automaker BMW showed off an ingenious solution to tackle the two issues that plague car buyers – boredom with a single colour and the indecisiveness while choosing the paint job.

CES is often the hotbed of whacky new technology concepts and solutions – not all of those become reality or find their way into consumer goods, but it’s still a peek into the future and scratches the surface of the next set of innovations which might one day become mainstream.

BMW’s concept uses a simple solution that we have seen elsewhere – in e-readers. However, this is perhaps one of the first instances of this colour-changing tech making its way to cars.

The BMW iX that was presented at the CES is capable of changing its colour from white to black and grey. It’s still a fairly constrained colour palette, but it shows us this is possible and it’s more than just a fancy concept.

However, there is one issue – it’s still just an advanced research and design project, so it will be a while before this technology makes it to a BMW dealership near you.

How does the BMW iX change colours?


Explaining the technology behind its colour-changing feature, BMW states that the paint job on the iX consists of millions of microcapsules with the diameter equivalent to the thickness of human hair.

BMW’s colour-changing paint feature may have more uses than just curing boredom and indecisiveness

These microcapsules each contain negatively charged white pigments, and positively charged black pigments. An electric field is then passed through the microcapsules to change the colour based on the user’s setting.

More than just a gimmick


BMW’s colour-changing tech has more implications than just being a gimmick to cure boredom and indecisiveness. The company says that the different shades could help the car remain relatively cooler under direct sun, for instance, since white surfaces reflect a lot more sunlight than black ones.

Similarly, in cooler weathers, darker tones would help the car absorb more warmth from the sun, thereby reducing the need to amp up the heater inside the car.


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