BMW - Bayerische Motoren Werke AG

05/20/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/20/2022 00:00

Changing colours with the power of thought.

Munich. At the Consumer Electronics Show 2022 in Las Vegas, the BMW Group unveiled the BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink, a unique vehicle capable of changing its entire body colour at the touch of a button. "We have already introduced further improvements for the technology since the premiere at the CES," reports Stella Clarke, project lead of the BMW iX Flow. "Previously, the changes between colour patterns only took place in a gradual transition. Now, the control electronics have been tweaked to enable instantaneous transformations, resulting in an even more stunning visual effect."

Delegates at the BMW Group's rad°hub dialogue platform held at Plant Munich on 12 - 13 May had the opportunity to experience the enhanced colour switching abilities of the BMW iX Flow up close for the first time. The rad°hub event provides a platform for open, interdisciplinary ideas-sharing between visionary thinkers and opinion leaders from around the world.

The BMW iX Flow meets neurotechnology.

The Munich-based startup brainboost used the new and improved colour-changing effect in a one-off collaboration with the BMW Group at rad°hub aimed at raising awareness of mental health.

With the help of brainboost, the BMW iX Flow was connected directly to the brain of the rad°hub delegates using an electroencephalograph (EEG), which records the brain's electrical activity. "The colour 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." A special animation was activated if delegates managed to maintain this state for several seconds. Thus, the participants were able to gradually calm and relax their brains under the guidance of the brainboost experts and with the help of neurofeedback via the iX Flow. This matures the knowledge of which strategies work best to specifically shut down one's own brain activity for relaxation, e.g. in everyday working life.

What is the technology behind the colour change?

The body of the BMW iX Flow is laminated in a special film containing millions of colour capsules. When stimulated by electrical signals, negatively charged white pigments or positively charged black ones will collect at the surface, thereby changing the exterior colour. By making it possible to alter the body colour and display different patterns, the BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink opens up a whole new way of personalising the driving experience.

Who or what is brainboost?

The startup brainboost was founded with the mission of making mental fitness and health accessible to as many people as possible. The interdisciplinary team specialises entirely in mental fitness and health, offering training courses, coaching sessions and corporate health management measures in this area while also conducting research and developing software. 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.

What is rad°hub?

Since 2016, rad°hub has provided a unique platform for openly sharing ideas, creative moments, innovative ideas and inspiring connections. The aim of this dialogue-focused event format is to push boundaries, bring influencers with ideas together and encourage dialogue between visionary thinkers and opinion leaders from all over the world. Interdisciplinary exchange, both within the company and beyond, creates a space for discussing the challenges of future mobility and developing a range of possible solutions together.

60 thinkers and visionaries from around the globe assembled at BMW's home plant in Munich for the rad°hub on 12 - 13 May. In working groups, the participants dealt with various questions. What kind of digital world do we want to live in 2040? How can we imagine a positive future of mobility? Is digitalisation the solution for sustainability? The developed future scenarios were presented to the patron of the rad°hub, Dr. Nicolas Peter (Member of the Board of BMW AG, Finance), who will take the ideas into account in his decisions as a member of the board.