Prepare for Astonishingly Dynamic Car Exteriors
BMW’s innovative approach to car customization is taking a leap with its filed patents. The company is exploring the use of decorative film that can be applied to any three-dimensional surface, allowing for flexible and personalized exterior and interior designs. This technology, inspired by the impressive E Ink technology seen in the iX Flow concept, may soon be available as a factory option, giving BMW owners an unprecedented level of customization.
Up until now, BMW’s car customization options have been limited to individual paintwork, alloy wheels, and the application of decorative films or foiling on the outer bodywork. However, the recently filed patents suggest that the company is exploring new possibilities for more extensive and flexible customization in the future.
In a bid to provide customers with greater aesthetic options, BMW is now looking to offer the choice of applying a decorative film to any surface of their vehicles. This innovative concept is outlined in their latest patent, which is part of a series aimed at expanding customization possibilities for BMW customers.
BMW is exploring various options for the decorative film, aiming to provide customers with a versatile and dynamic experience. One possibility is a smart glass LCD layer that can seamlessly switch between transparency and opacity. Another option is an e-paper layer capable of transitioning between two different colors. Additionally, BMW recognizes the appeal of classic elements and suggests the inclusion of a wood veneer, catering to traditional Bimmer enthusiasts. The goal is to offer a wide range of choices to suit individual preferences.
The display layer of the decorative film comprises numerous display balls, available in white, black, or any desired color combination chosen by the customer. By applying a positive or negative field, the pigments in black and white shift to opposite sides, resulting in the desired color. Activation of the chosen color can be easily achieved through a switch located in the cabin. Furthermore, this innovative technology can also be extended to interior design elements, offering a cohesive and customizable experience throughout the vehicle.
With the flexibility to apply the decorative film on any three-dimensional object, BMW owners have the freedom to personalize their vehicles in unique ways. For example, imagine a black BMW M3 with the ability to change the color of its distinctive grille. Whether opting for the same color or a contrasting shade, this level of customization offers an exciting opportunity to transform the look of the vehicle and make a bold statement.
BMW has ingeniously developed a film with numerous star or diamond-shaped elements to overcome the challenge of applying a seemingly rigid layer onto a three-dimensional object. These elements facilitate the wrapping of the decorative film around areas that require compression or expansion. The surface of the film is meticulously slit using techniques like laser beams, cutting plotters, or knives, ensuring that the slits remain invisible when the decorative layer is flat. Once applied, the film can be stretched in both transverse and longitudinal directions, seamlessly adhering to the surface without any noticeable gaps in the paintwork.
Imagine the striking new BMW M2 with its contrasting design elements, such as the curved power dome and the sharp lines of the lower grille. Now, envision these surfaces adorned with the customizable film, seamlessly integrating with the car’s aesthetics while maintaining a high-quality finish. The possibilities for personalization and accentuation are endless, allowing BMW enthusiasts to truly make a statement with their M2.
BMW’s latest patent focuses on the application method for the decorative layer on non-planar surfaces. The process involves adding a sticky coating to the underside of the film, allowing it to be easily applied to the vehicle. While the specific delivery format, whether it be in a roll or predetermined pattern, is still under consideration, the key takeaway is the seamless and user-friendly application process that BMW is developing. The goal is to make the customization experience effortless and accessible for BMW enthusiasts.
BMW’s primary aim is to create a flexible decorative film that can be securely adhered to the car’s surface. This film will be accompanied by a carrier film for added protection, similar to the process of wrapping a vehicle. To ensure durability, BMW will apply an additional layer of protection, such as a clear lacquer or another protective film, to safeguard the decorative elements. This multi-layered approach ensures both aesthetic appeal and long-lasting durability for the customized design.
The possibilities for customization are limitless with this technology. BMW has successfully taken its color-changing innovation and made it accessible to a wider audience. By harnessing the power of E Ink and implementing mass production techniques, BMW has opened the doors to a whole new level of customization for their vehicles.