After first teasing it a few weeks ago, BMW today officially unwrapped its color-changing car at CES. The BMW iX Flow, as the German automaker has dubbed this experimental vehicle, is wrapped in what is basically a form of e-paper, which BMW developed in cooperation with E Ink.

As of now, we’re only talking about black and white as color options (with a few shades of grey in between), but that could change over time. And because just like your Kindle’s screen doesn’t use any energy after the content has changed, the iX Flow’s electrophoretic technology doesn’t use any energy either after you’ve set up your preferred color and design.

BMW debuted the iX Flow in CES 2022, a car that changes colors at your whim, and technologies such as LumiLor have been gaining popularity in recent years.

Color-changing cars aren’t entirely a new thing, but BMW’s new technology has increased the momentum of this feature. Until CES 2022, most people didn’t even know they needed a color-changing car. There are different technologies used in color-changing cars. Read on to find out the most popular ones and how they work.When stimulated by electrical signals controlled by a phone app, the material brings different pigments to the surface, causing the car to take on a different shade or design, such as racing stripes.

Color-changing cars can also use this ability to convey information. For instance, with E-Ink, you can set your car to change color based on how much fuel it has. Thermal paint can also give you a good idea of how hot the car is and thus the environment based on the color.

E Ink technology is the same stuff used in e-reader tablets, and the iX Flow’s wrap is made of e-paper segments. That’s why the iX can only change colors on the grayscale, but as E Ink tech evolves to include more vibrant colors (hopefully), so too can the iX Flow. After all, it’s just a concept — cool as it is, there’s no telling if BMW will ever bring color-changing body panels to production.

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