BMW unveils Dee prototype, “the next level of human-machine interaction”
BMW presented a prototype of the i Vision Dee concept vehicle during Wednesday’s keynote speech at CES . The four-door sedan came out on stage in a crisp white, but later morphed into a variety of colors and patterns to show off Dee’s E-Ink technology, which will allow car owners to configure the car’s exterior with 32 different colors.
Dee, while a concept car, is emblematic of BMW’s next generation platform, Neue Klasse, which the company said will launch in 2025 starting with a dynamic sedan and a sporty activity vehicle.
The reveal featured a cutesy video involving Arnold Schwarzenegger reminiscing about the relationship people had with their cars in the 1980s while the voice of Dee (which by the way stands for Digital Emotional Experience) tried to convince the actor/politician that the cars of the future are really the ultimate companions.
Dee’s voice was used throughout the keynote to personalize and humanize car. BMW stated that Dee is a “digital soul”, a person with a voice and facial expressions. It is the first time I have faced it with hope. If a Terminator can learn the value and importance of human life, then maybe we can too
What is BMW trying to say here? Oliver Zipse, BMW CEO, called Dee “the next level in human-machine interaction. A concept that cannot simply be dismissed as science fiction because this will inspire our Neue Klasse
Automakers have been looking for new ways to make the software more personal for passengers and drivers ever since the “software defined vehicle” concept was introduced. CES always has a wide range of examples. It was all about Amazon Fire streaming to vehicles and Google Home Integrations , last year, but this year it seems to have moved to in car gaming . BMW is going one step further by positing a connection between car and human, but also a car with its own emotions.
According to Zipse, BMW hopes to make that vision a reality by combining hardware and software development to create a seamless digital experience. This idea manifests in Dee’s head-up display, featuring four levels of interaction, which BMW calls its “mixed reality slider.”
Level one contains all the navigation and drive data a driver needs. Level two allows for communication through text messages and phone calls. Level three adds the features of Levels 1 and 2 and augments your windshield’s navigation data, including collision warnings or possible obstacles highlighted. It can also visualize social media.
Level 4 goes “way beyond reality.” Although we aren’t sure what that means, the talking Dee suggested that you could bring all your friends in your car virtually.
” Your friends, your family, and even your pets without one animal hair on the seats, which I absolutely love in an endless virtual universe,” she (?). said. “You can meet, play, talk, love and hate. You can even go on a sightseeing trip together in your car. You’d be amazed at what you can fit in your car in the near future. It’s like driving in your own movie theater. But the movie is your life .”
This would be possible in a world where windows could be blocked out and the car would drive autonomously.
The point is that BMW, just like other automakers, wants to make its cars so impressive and seamless that people start to see them as their ultimate companions. They are their friend, their personal assistant, and their fashion aid all in the same place. Freaky, isn’t it?
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.