Keep in mind BMW’s bizarre Dee activation on Twitter, when the corporate’s world account received “taken over” by a personality that was actually into speaking about Arnold Schwarzenegger? Nicely, we now know what that’s all about, and it’s precisely as bizarre as we’ve come to anticipate from trendy 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 huge reveal for this 12 months’s Client Electronics Present. Its physique is color-shifting, its home windows implement mixed-reality tech, and its headlights and grille can change form so as to “produce totally different facial expressions.” Y’know, simply in case you wished your automobile to offer you slightly :3 face whilst you attempt to discover it in a 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 12 months’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 present 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, so as to create full augmented actuality past the car. 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 actual world seeps by means of the home windows into the automobile.
While a full virtual reality cockpit isn’t likely to show up in production cars any time soon, the tech presages a full-width HUD on the windshield of BMW’s coming EVs. The company hasn’t yet announced what data will occupy all that visual real estate, but it could be useful for things like turn-by-turn directions layered over the roads ahead of you.
Perhaps the greatest innovation in the i Vision Dee, however, is its styling. The concept’s simple design looks like a German take on the fan-favorite Nissan IDx, with its onerous edges and clean strains. BMW, I’ve defended the M4 snout and the 7 collection’s headlights for years. Please — give us a manufacturing model of this form.