BMW unveils OLED lighting systems that could change power usage and pimp your car in one

BMW is working on new technologies for front and rear lights on its cars, with OLED tech looked at for exterior lights designed to be seen.

While not light enough to provide beam lamps for visibility, OLED panels could, in conjunction with conventional LED lights, be used for the rear (tail) lights, for example.

They don't consume much power, generate very little heat and are wafer-thin so came be fitted to make spectacular patterns, changing the look of a BMW car significantly. Or, at least, its rear lights.

OLED display technology is currently not bright enough for brake lights or indicators, so the car manufacturer will continue to employ LEDs for those purposes, but BMW has hinted that it could introduce the new tech inside its vehicles.

"BMW Organic Light can be used to create pleasant and stylish lighting effects," it said. "The fact that they can be shaped in so many different ways means that organic light-emitting diodes offer designers brand new possibilities for styling."

To begin with, BMW will use 2D OLED panels, but has plans for flexible displays too.

"Three-dimensional OLEDs with freely definable shapes are a likely prospect in the medium term. The fact that OLEDs are formable and require neither reflectors nor lenses paves the way for a whole new range of uses that are not feasible at the current time," it tantalisingly claimed.

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