Imagine a color-changing car that can display up to 32 different colors and you can create a digital avatar profile that can cover the side window. It includes a slider to adjust the digital assistance and is full of “blinking” kidney-shaped grids that can respond to you.
You are not in the future. This is the BMW i Vision DEE, which made its official debut at CES 2023 and was presented by BMW President Oliver Zipse during the BMW CES keynote.
DEE stands for “Digital Emotional Experience” and aims to “create an even stronger connection between people and their cars.” The car is a mid-size sedan, a classic BMW packed with an insane amount of technical innovation. This time, the Bavarian geniuses really went above and beyond to look at future designs and technologies that may soon hit the market.
“With the BMW i Vision DEE, we show what is possible when hardware and software come together.” This way, we can use the full potential of digitization and turn the car into an intelligent partner. “The fusion of virtual experience and real driving pleasure is where the future of the automotive industry lies… for manufacturers and also for BMW,” Zipse said.
Before we get into the finer details of this head-turning car, let’s take a look back at CES 2022. When BMW introduced the BMW iX Flow.
The concept car featured body panels that acted like chameleons and changed color using electrophoresis technology. Since then, the team behind the idea, led by project manager Stella Clarke (inspired by the technology used in e-readers). It has been working around the clock on the E-Ink color change technology, which will debut at CES 2022. The result can be seen in Dee’s body.
According to BMW, the i Vision DE is an honest technological development. The main part of the concept is divided into two parts:
There are 0 E-Ink segments, each of which can be controlled independently. As mentioned above, a small but unique voltage can display a total of 32 colors across the spectrum. To create shades from the color palette used in traditional printing. Specifically, the pad of the wheel can change from yellow to purple and back again when current passes through the material.
BMW also added that this is the first time that E-ink has been used on the entire exterior of the car. Good news? It may have to be marketed at the consumer level soon.
Dee is “phygital” and can answer you.
BMW has coined a new term to describe the fusion of physical and digital elements—”phygital” treatment—sprayed on a car. This can be seen in Dee’s headlights and grille, which are like a “face” with virtual sound. BMW describes the treatment as “a fixed icon with a flat surface that allows the vehicle to create different expressions.”
Add to that a way for the car to talk to people and at the same time project the driver’s avatar image onto the side windows. Very futuristic! The effect is enhanced by high-resolution graphics, and dimmable windows allow you to stay hidden from the eyes of other passengers.
When you get inside, you’ll notice that the i Vision Dee’s main focus — what BMW calls the “Mixed Reality Slider” — is the stunningly large head-up display (HUD) that spans the entire windshield.
Now, while the whole concept sounds wild, it’s a feature that looks really feasible in the near future. Today, head-up displays typically include information such as driving directions and speed directly in the driver’s line of sight. Here, BMW plans to make the entire windshield itself large windshield that takes over the windshield.
Five Stages of Mixed Reality Slider
The Mixed Reality Slider can project five stages, from the first stage, which shows the entire windshield, to the fifth stage. Among these steps are driving information, communication systems, and augmented reality projection.
Thanks to such a function, the driver has a large canvas to see relevant information without taking his eyes off the road. Thanks to the “creepy” sensors on the dashboard, drivers can easily set what they want to see.
BMW Group Head of Design Adrian van Hooydonk told Wired: “Augmented reality is not only interesting but also really useful for driver orientation.” You can focus on the road ahead, and the information you need is apparently projected. In this Vision car, we show a new technology that makes it possible to use the entire width of the windshield.
Part of the architecture
Dee is not ready. The car has a feature called “figural touch points.” How does it work? If you place your finger near the door panel, a virtual switch will appear that you can press. As expected, it disappears when you move your hand away. How cool? It’s also practical because we’ll need fewer components in the future, which will help automakers save a ton of money on production costs.
Needless to say, the i Vision Dee is an electric concept. In addition to the full-width head-up display, the Dee is part of BMW’s Neue Klasse architecture, which “brings people and machines closer together.” The HUD will arrive on production cars running on the company’s Neue Klasse electric platform in 2025.