The color-changing car technology is unlikely to make its way to a sales lot anytime soon. But the other two entertainment options, BMW says, will be in showrooms later this year.
BMW Theater Screen
The BMW Theater Screen entertainment system uses a 31-inch wide, 8K ultra-wide display screen that folds down from the car’s headliner on command. Passengers can adjust its angle to match the recline of their seats. The display uses a 32:9 aspect ratio similar to many cinemas.
It’s paired with a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound system. As the screen unfolds, the speakers play a cinematic sound created by famed Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer, who also crafted driving sounds for BMW’s new slate of electric vehicles. Roller blinds raise over the rear windows to reduce glare.
BMW says it “is working with Amazon to fully integrate the Fire TV experience within the Theater Screen system.”
BMW didn’t reveal pricing for the system or say which car would get it first. But, in a press release announcing the screen, it claimed that its upcoming 2022 iX electric SUV would be the first vehicle in the world to implement the full 5G mobile radio standard, which is probably a clue. Streaming 8K video would likely require a 5G connection.
BMW Digital Art Mode
The company did make clear that the 2023 iX M60 will get its other innovation first. It’s called Digital Art Mode, and you probably put together what it is before you finished reading this sentence.
BMW created the mode to mark the 50th anniversary of BMW Group Cultural Engagement, the division responsible for BMW’s famous Art Cars.
The system “offers an additional option for drivers to personalize their driving experience according to their preferences and interests and enjoy culture in their mobile day-to-day lives,” BMW says.
It projects moving digital art displays on screens inside the vehicle and alters cabin lighting to suit the display.
The first theme released is called Quantum Garden. Designed by Chinese digital artist Cao Fei. BMW explains:
“Galaxies of visual spaces filled with dots, light beams, and nebulae constantly moving towards and away from each other at varying speeds while growing and shrinking again and again. They express the mostly invisible but continuous links connecting people, groups and systems that affect each other even over great distances and, in doing so, also modify their surroundings.”
BMW hasn’t said whether Digital Art Mode would involve an added cost. It could be a standard feature of its upcoming iDrive 8 entertainment system. We’ve asked for clarification and will update this story when we have it.