Keep in mind BMW’s weird Dee activation on Twitter, when the corporate’s international account acquired “taken over” by a personality that was actually into talking about Arnold Schwarzenegger? Effectively, we now know what that’s all about, and it’s precisely as bizarre as we’ve come to count on from fashionable BMW: A idea sedan based mostly round digital actuality.
The i Imaginative and prescient Dee, named for its “Digital Emotional Expertise,” is the corporate’s large reveal for this yr’s Client Electronics Present. Its physique is color-shifting, its home windows implement mixed-reality tech, and its headlights and grille can change form as a way to “produce completely different facial expressions.” Y’know, simply in case you wished your automobile to present you just a little :3 face whilst you attempt to discover it in a car parking zone.
The colour-changing tech comes from BMW’s CES custom: A full-body E-ink wrap. This 32-color model lastly lives as much as the promise BMW trotted out earlier than final yr’s present, and even permits for animations to be performed on the automobile’s physique.
As for the Digital Emotional Expertise of all of it, the i Imaginative and prescient Dee combines two types of current automotive expertise in some fascinating methods. First, it broadens the idea of an in-car HUD to now span your complete windshield, and seemingly to the automobile’s different home windows, as a way to create full augmented actuality past the automobile. Then, it makes those self same home windows out of electrochromic glass, permitting them to be utterly dimmed — turning an AR driving expertise into full-on VR. The entire system is managed by a “combined actuality slider,” that enables the person to regulate how a lot of the true world seeps via the home windows into the automobile.
Whereas a full digital actuality cockpit isn’t more likely to present up in manufacturing vehicles any time quickly, the tech presages a full-width HUD on the windshield of BMW’s coming EVs. The corporate hasn’t but introduced what information will occupy all that visible actual property, however it might be helpful for issues like turn-by-turn instructions layered over the roads forward of you.
Maybe the best innovation within the i Imaginative and prescient Dee, nonetheless, is its styling. The idea’s easy design seems to be like a German tackle the fan-favorite Nissan IDx, with its laborious edges and easy traces. BMW, I’ve defended the M4 snout and the 7 sequence’s headlights for years. Please — give us a manufacturing model of this form.