The BMW Concept i4 is a Tesla-rivalling electric car with a 373-mile range and a driving sound scored by an Academy Award winning composer

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By RAY MASSEY FOR THISISMONEY.CO.UK

PUBLISHED: 04:02 EST, 3 March 2020 | UPDATED: 04:47 EST, 3 March 2020

“German car giant BMW has launched a new electric executive car that features a soundtrack by Academy Award winning movie composer Hans Zimmer.

The aim is to make the new battery-powered BMW i4 electric prototype – designed to take on Elon Musk’s Tesla Model 3 – and the German manufacturer’s future cars sound cool.

That’s because while the prototype i4 has dramatic performance, the near silence of the electric drive can risk making the experience feel soulless.

Soundtrack over silence: This is the Concept i4 from BMW - an electric car that makes a sound when it moves that's been scored by an Academy Award winning film composer

Soundtrack over silence: This is the Concept i4 from BMW – an electric car that makes a sound when it moves that’s been scored by an Academy Award winning film composerPromo flaunts capability and design of new BMW Concept i4Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%0:00PreviousPlaySkipMuteCurrent Time0:00/Duration Time2:01FullscreenNeed Text

To counter this BMW has sought put some aural heart and emotion into battery-powered motoring to help overcome the lack of sound drivers have grown used to from conventional petrol and diesel engines.

Rather than leave things to chance, BMW has hired the services of the top blockbuster film composer who penned the music to movies including Gladiator, Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Last Samurai, The Da Vinci Code, 12 Years a Slave, and Dunkirk.

He also won an Academy Award for his original score for The Lion King, and has worked on the forthcoming 007 movie No Time to Die and the new Tom Cruise film, Top Gun: Maverick.

Mr Zimmer worked with BMW sound engineer Renzo Vitale to create sounds that resonate with drivers.

He launched the new electric-drive soundtrack for the i4 at its world premiere today. 

The ‘ready-to-drive’ and ‘start-stop’ sound for all-electric BMW models and BMW plug-in hybrids will be introduced as a standard feature worldwide from July 2020.

With its large exaggerated and almost cartoonish grille, the new i4 is set to go into production early next year as BMW’s first all-electric model in the premium mid-size class, where it will go head to head with the Tesla Model 3. 

With its large exaggerated and almost cartoonish grille, the new i4 is set to go into production early in 2021

With its large exaggerated and almost cartoonish grille, the new i4 is set to go into production early in 2021 

The electric motor drivetrain developing 530 horse-power promises acceleration from rest to 62mph in just 4 seconds up to a top speed of 124mph

The soundtrack made by the i4 Concept will be used across the entire electric and hybrid range of BMWs from July

The soundtrack made by the i4 Concept will be used across the entire electric and hybrid range of BMWs from July

The electric motor drivetrain developing 530 horsepower promises acceleration from rest to 62mph in just 4 seconds up to a top speed of 124mph with a range of 373 miles.

BMW said: ‘The virtually silent delivery of power creates an entirely new sensation of dynamism.

‘The silence of electric drive systems is often cited as a major benefit of electric mobility. As the choice of electrified models increases, however, it also means some drivers are missing out on the emotional appeal of sound.’

Mr Zimmer, who has a sound studio in Santa Monica, California, said: ‘We have an extraordinary opportunity to turn electric driving in a BMW into a very special experience with the help of great sounds. 

BMW claims the Concept i4 has a range of 373 miles. It will need it to rival the 348 miles of the rangiest Model 3 on sale today

BMW claims the Concept i4 has a range of 373 miles. It will need it to rival the 348 miles of the rangiest Model 3 on sale today

Tesla's design has moved to a blanked front end where a car's grille would traditionally be, as there is no need for an air intake on an electric car - the opposite to BMW's exaggerated styling

Tesla’s design has moved to a blanked front end where a car’s grille would traditionally be, as there is no need for an air intake on an electric car – the opposite to BMW’s exaggerated styling

BMW has hired the services of Hans Zimmer who penned the music to movies including Gladiator, Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Last Samurai, The Da Vinci Code, 12 Years a Slave, and Dunkirk.

BMW has hired the services of Hans Zimmer who penned the music to movies including Gladiator, Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Last Samurai, The Da Vinci Code, 12 Years a Slave, and Dunkirk.

‘I am relishing the challenge of co-designing the composition for future electric BMWs.’

He said: ‘We hope the sound we created is classic yet surprising and has a feeling of lightness that is fitting for a BMW.’

The sound ‘repertoire’ of the BMW i4 covers the variety of driving ‘modes’ available to motorists , from the standard sound in cruising mode to ‘the more intense tones of ‘Sport’, he said.

New legislation at requires electric cars to have an artificial sound to warn pedestrians of their impending approach

New legislation at requires electric cars to have an artificial sound to warn pedestrians of their impending approach

The styling is very much in-keeping with the wider BMW range, somewhat replicating the shape of its popular saloon models like the 3 Series

The styling is very much in-keeping with the wider BMW range, somewhat replicating the shape of its popular saloon models like the 3 Series

The cabin is, as you'd expect from a concept, extremely futuristic. How much of this is kept for next year's production model is unknown

The cabin is, as you’d expect from a concept, extremely futuristic. How much of this is kept for next year’s production model is unknown

The ‘sport’ sound is a soft but rising crescendo that feels like (to my ears at least) the opening bars of Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon.’ The cruising mode is similar, but softer and more ethereal.

Acoustic accompaniments to a door opening – like an electronic ‘plink’ – and when starting the car are also part of the car’s ‘soundscape’,

New legislation at requires electric cars to have an artificial sound to warn pedestrians of their impending approach. And that will provide another opportunity for composing a sound-scape.

Mr Zimmer has said in the past: ‘Electric cars don’t need to sound like a space-ship or a lawn-mower.

‘And silence is not the best way. On the outside you will kill people walking in the way. We have to help that a little bit.’

He explained: ‘In film music I see sound as a way of opening emotional doors to have an experience. I don’t want cars to feel more alive. I want humans to feel more alive.’

In different driving modes, the interior accents change

In different driving modes, the interior accents change. Cruising mode has the cabin shining blue but if you select sport it all turn red

BMW said: ‘The character of the i4 is not only a product of its design, but also of its visionary sound profile.

‘Hans Zimmer composed the sound of the i4 together with BMW sound designer Renzo Vitale.

‘It will imbue BMW’s electric models with extra emotional depth by connecting the driver with the vehicle’s character on another level through individual tones and sounds.’

Jens Thiemer, BMW’s senior vice president for customers and brand: ‘Sound has always played an important role in the emotionalisation of our vehicles. 

‘Now we are taking the joy of sheer driving pleasure to a new level and are particularly pleased to be working with Hans Zimmer to create the new sound world of electric mobility at BMW.'”

BMW Concept i4 with Sounds by Hans Zimmer through IconicSounds Electric – Forbes

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2020 Geneva Motor Show: BMW’s New Electric Car Concept I4

Forbes.com – Nargess Banks

BMW Concept i4 reveals digitally at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show
BMW Concept i4 MARKUS WENDLER BMW

“This is the Concept i4, a sleek four-door all-electric coupé and the latest product to join the sustainable BMW i family. Revealed virtually as part of the 2020 Geneva Motor Show (cancelled in its physical format due to the coronavirus) the concept car previews the i4 which is expected to enter production next year as the marque’s first all-electric model in the premium midsize class. What’s more, the Concept i4 comes replete with its own electric engine soundtrack – composed by the celebrated musician Hans Zimmer to express the possibilities of finding a unique electric drive note that speaks of the progressive age of clean transport.

BMW Concept i4 reveals digitally at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show
The rear of Concept i4 features slim and elongated lights MARKUS WENDLER BMW

The Concept i4 will offer a 373-mile electric battery range, provide an output of up to 530-horsepower, accelerate to 62 mph in around 4 seconds and perform to a top speed in excess of 124 mph. While, the virtually silent delivery of power, BMW promises, will create an entirely new driving sensation for this coupé.Today In: Lifestyle

This latest show car is an evolution of the 2017 i Vision Dynamics design study. The sleek proportions are classic coupé – a longer wheelbase, fastback roofline and short overhangs. And much like the i Vision, here the exterior design has been kept simple with its smooth lines and clear surfaces – “as a deliberate counterpoint to the dynamic flair of the driving experience” says BMW.

BMW Concept i4 reveals digitally at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show
Sketches for the BMW Concept i4 BMW

Aerodynamic measures help maximize the car’s electric range including the covered kidney grille and clear aero lips that help the smooth flow of air. Another distinctive feature are the wheel rims, designed exclusively for the Concept i4 to combine aerodynamic and lightweight design. The face offers a subtle new electric look too with its covered kidney grille which, in the absence of a combustion engine and required cooling, now serves primarily as an “intelligence panel” housing the various sensors.

BMW Concept i4 reveals digitally at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show
Inside, the Concept i4 explores a new driver-focused environment through the curved display MARKUS WENDLER BMW

Elsewhere, the headlights maintain the marque’s classical four-eyed design, but with a more contemporary interpretation featuring a couple of freestanding LED elements on either side to integrate the essential light functions. Clean surfaces with only a few crisp lines around the grille help inform the contemporary front-end graphic. Referencing the design of the i Vision, where exhaust tailpipes would once have been found, diffuser elements in BMW i Blue represent the electric drive system. Finally, the Concept i4 previews a new two-dimensional and transparent logo for the marque.

Inside, the Concept i4 cabin maintains BMW’s usual driver-focused environment but through a new curved display design whereby the surfaces of the information and control displays merge into a single unit and are inclined towards the driver. The idea is for the screen grouping to optimize presentation of information and makes the display’s touch operation more intuitive. Head of design Domagoj Dukec says, “with the curved display, we have redefined our signature driver focus in an extremely elegant way. At the same time, the Concept i4 transports a feeling of sustainable driving pleasure.”

BMW Concept i4 reveals digitally at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show
Exploring interior design for the upcoming BMW i4 MARKUS WENDLER BMW

BMW i was formed almost a decade ago as a sustainable sub-brand dedicated to finding a distinct product portfolio and a design language for the marque in the age of electrification. I drove the very first i3 in and around London in 2013; then the dramatic i8 the year after in the more dramatic Scottish Highlands setting. They both delivered what they promised in equal measures. The i3 is an incredibly gifted urban runaround, while the i8 offers pure open road driving pleasure. These two very distinct electric cars certainly don’t diminish the convenience or the fun of driving – instead they introduce an extra dose of excitement to personal transport. The i cars are intelligently designed and engineered products. They are fresh and exciting and point the way to a progressive future.

Driving the BMW future with Concept i4 electric car
Driving the BMW future with Concept i4 electric car BMW

Adrian van Hooydonk, senior vice president of BMW Group design, says the Concept i4 car brings electrification to the core of his brand. “The design is dynamic, clean and elegant. In short: a perfect BMW that happens to be zero emission,” he says.

“BMW is rooted in performance and it is about the thrill and the emotion of driving” van Hooydonk told me a few months ago. “On the one hand, it is about speed, yet the thrill is also about the vehicle’s direct response to your input. Then there is the technology that works well and the design which speaks on an emotional level. So, BMW is a combination of something that is highly emotional but delivers on a rational level. This can be motorized in any possible way.””

E! News: Inside Paris Hilton’s Pink Birthday Party With Kim Kardashian, Heidi Klum and More

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Forget “That’s hot”—Paris Hilton was #sliving for her birthday. 

In honor of her 39th year, the famed fashionista celebrated with a bash fitting of the glamorous star. The soirée took place inside “Slivington Manor,” where the star-studded, pink-themed event unfolded on Thursday night.

Inside the party, there was no question who the birthday gal was as there were giant portraits of Hilton as well as pink balloons by OC Balloon Bar spelling out “HBD Paris” and “#Sliving.” “The night was all about sliving or when you are slaying life!” a source said. 

There was also no shortage of roses and pint-sized bottles of Casamigos tequila with straws for easy sipping. As for the guest of honor, the style star donned a sparkling white long-sleeved mini with a plunging neckline for the special occasion, which was produced by Mirrored Media.  

Find the full story at eonline.com

Paris Hilton’s #Sliving Birthday Party

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On February 20, Mirrored Media produced Paris Hilton’s annual birthday bash in Beverly Hills. The event boasted an exclusive invite-only guest list, with attendees including Kim Kardashian West, Kourtney Kardashian, Heidi Klum, Lele Pons, Taika Waititi, French Montana, Travis Barker, Machine Gun Kelly, and even LA Mayor, Eric Garcetti.

Mirrored Media brought Paris’ dreams to life with a Slivington Manor entrance, custom neon photobooth, projection mapping, ‘Sliving’ holograms, balloon signage

Guests enjoyed with support from Casamigos, Pizza Hut, Lyft, BMW, Mod Selection Champagne, OC Baloon Bar, Dose of Roses, and Sweet Flower.

EventMarketer: How Brands Served Up Live-Action Games, Lounges, and Charitable Panels at Sundance

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It’s not easy to attract the biggest names in the film industry to Park City, UT, in the middle of winter, but the Sundance Institute made it happen once again for the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, this year Jan. 23 through Feb. 3. The event, which serves as the largest independent film festival in the U.S., offered 12 days of panels, screenings and competitions, but festivalgoers were also treated to a variety of sponsorship activations that catered to the creative community. Here, we take a look at how some of the world’s top brands engaged attendees on the ground. Now, zip up your parka and grab a cup of hot cocoa. We’re headed to the mountains.

Talent agency UTA launched a residency at Sundance this year at an off-site estate where it offered three days of programming to clients and industry professionals. The space, dubbed Sundance House, was converted from a private residence into an event venue featuring panels, lounges, meeting spaces and parties. Highlights included UTA’s annual Brand Leaders Dinner featuring a surprise performance by Ryland James, a celebration of women of color hosted by UTA client Issa Rae, the larger-than-life UTA House Party and an art exhibition featuring photography by Kwame Brathwaite.

Agency: Mirrored Media.

Read the full story HERE.

BizBash: Sundance 2020: See How Sponsors Welcomed Attendees to This Year’s Film Festival

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This year, United Talent Agency expanded its festival footprint, hosting three days of programming at a private residence. Guests, clients, and industry professionals attended a lineup of events such as the agency’s annual brand leaders dinner; Women In Film’s reception panel; and UTA client Issa Rae’s celebration in honor of Creators of Color. UTA Marketing, the agency’s entertainment consulting practice that represents global brands including Cover Girl, Delta Air Lines, General Motors, General Mills, Google, and Lyft, led the agency’s programming this year.

The estate, which offered picturesque snowy views, was converted into a space to host the panels and parties, complete with lounges and meeting spaces. Mirrored Media handled production, along with UTA Marketing, and DJ Mike Deleasa performed at all of the house’s events.

Read the full story HERE.

EventMarketer: Ways Musicians are Leveraging Pop-ups to Connect with Fans

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The late rapper Malcolm James McCormick, better known as Mac Miller, passed away in 2018, but his memory lived on Jan. 17-18 thanks to pop-up events in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and New York City. Timed to the release of his posthumous album, “Circles: Til Infinity,” the events served as museum-style experiences where fans could get a closer look at the artist’s life—and they showed up in droves. The venues were at capacity from opening until closing each day, with lines averaging three to six hours in all three cities. Each pop-up featured a multimedia fan art exhibition, a gallery, exclusive artworks and merchandise, an intimate living room listening experience where attendees could hear “Circles” in Ultra HD, and a chance for fans to leave digital notes. All net proceeds from merch sales benefitted the Mac Miller Fund, an organization that supports young musicians.

Agency: Mirrored Media, Santa Monica, CA.

Read the full story at eventmarketer.com

Variety: UTA Marketing Ups Sundance Game With Private Residence, Programming

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Talent agency hospitality is a mainstay at the Sundance Film Festival, be it in swanky lounges on Park City’s Main Street or private chalets in nearby Deer Valley.

United Talent Agency, whose talent roster and independent film group always come in force each year, typically throws a brunch for friends and press — but will significantly expand its footprint this year, in the form of a private residence with several days of programming.

Clients and guests of UTA Marketing — which reps global brands including Cover Girl, Delta Air Lines, Google, and Lyft — will be invited to a private residence tucked away the center of festival madness for key events and refuge from the snow.

Issa Rae, repped by the agency, will throw a party in honor of creators of color in conjunction with UTA’s own head of diversity and inclusion, Shanique Bonelli-Moore. Women in Film will hold its annual Sundance panel and reception at the space, with speakers including director Haifaa al-Mansour, Hello Sunshine CEO Sarah Harden, actor and producer Emily Mortimer, Macro executive Poppy Hanks, and producer Effie Brown.

UTA Fine Arts will share a special pop-up exhibition of the artwork of Kwame Brathwaite and host an intimate conversation with Brathwaite’s son, Kwame S. Brathwaite, and writer and critic Antwaun Sargent. Harlem Field Trip chef JJ Johnson and Lyft social impact head Mike Masserman discuss food accessibility and inequality.  Hollywood’s favorite Italian spot, Jon & Vinny’s, will cater dinners to celebrate “Six Feet Under” creator Alan Ball’s new film “Uncle Frank,” and the department will host a brand leaders dinner with the Atlantic, Snap and Tastemade.  A surprise performer from UTA’s music roster will also go up for a late-night set.

Bird’s eye view of the UTA House at Sundance

“Sundance is more than a film festival, but a destination that brings together a diverse set of independent voices and storytellers across the spectrum of culture,” said UTA Marketing co-head Julian Jacobs.

“We are excited to unite so many clients and partners for what has become a key moment on the cultural calendar,” said fellow co-head David Anderson.

Sundance kicks off on Thursday.

See the full article at Variety.com

Billboard: Inside Mac Miller’s Circles Pop-Up Listening Event in Los Angeles

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On Thursday (Jan. 16) the Mac Miller Estate opened its arms for a preview of the Circles: Til’ Infinity listening event for Mac Miller’s first posthumous album, Circles.

Held at the revamped D.O.M. Gallery at the busy intersection of West Hollywood’s Melrose and Fairfax Avenue, the brightly lit, two-room Mac Miller museum pop-up glowed from blocks away on an otherwise quiet, rainy evening in Los Angeles. Organized by Warner Brothers Records, Mirrored Media, and Mac Miller’s family and former management, the minimalistic event was first advertised on social media five days ago as “Circles: Til Infinity. Intimate front-to-back listenings of Circles by Mac Miller. Art by fans and friends. Exclusive merch at all locations, with all net proceeds going to The Mac Miller Fund.” 

Upon entering the venue, attendees are met with a space resembling an art gallery, with a square, barbed-wire-enclosed merchandise station in the center of the room under a strikingly tall ceiling. Fans are given the opportunity to purchase over a dozen styles of shirts and hoodies, all of varying colors, with a Mac Miller logo and various phrases decorating the clothes. As mentioned on the “92tilinfinity” Instagram page, all sales’ proceeds are funneled to The Mac Miller Fund.

This first room tells a condensed tale of Miller’s life via visual mediums: Floor-to-ceiling windows take up one of the walls, while the other three are adorned with photos, paintings, posters, and personal polaroids (from Miller’s own cameras) of the late artist. A common theme among the photos is a smiling Miller, either at the studio, with friends, or in the midst of a carefree activity such as bike riding, portraying the Swimming MC as most fans and loved ones remember him.

While a majority of the photos depict the rapper as an adult, several childhood photos are also included, showing Miller with his mother and other family members. On the largest wall in the back of the room hangs a collage measuring over 40 square feet, boasting dozens, if not hundreds, of fan-art pieces — the fans’ devotion and love palpable. To the left of the collage is a placard listing the social media handles of the collage contributors. Glass cases with cartoonized Mac Miller POP! figurines by Bram Valure & Thomas Wadtke stand at one side of the room, emblematizing Mac as a pop culture fixture for this generation. 

The room had a pacified atmosphere as attendees moseyed around the crowded gallery, reading placards and examining photos. Most notably, Karen Myers and Mark Mccormick, Mac’s mother and father, and Miller Mccormick, Mac’s brother, were present. The late rapper’s immediate family remarkably did not formally address the guests, but rather nonchalantly socialized amongst the crowd, as strangers and friends alike approached the relatives to exchange greetings and pay their respects. The room buzzed with somber conversation and friendly chatter as a quiet playlist featuring the likes of The Eagles, John Lennon, The Rolling Stones, and Mazzy Star filled the background, with the tracks said to be selected by the estate as some of Malcolm’s personal favorites.

Through an entrance to the gallery’s side is a black-and-red decorated, dimly lit, sitting area intended to be the listening room. This second room is smaller in area than the gallery, with a bar on one side of the space. Couches, chairs, and other lounge furniture fill the room, inviting attendees to sit and take heed to the Circles album, which is played consecutively from the speakers at the top of every hour for the duration of the event. Unlike traditional listening events, there is no DJ working the crowd nor is there rambunctiously loud, upbeat music. Rather guests are implicitly encouraged to relax and become immersed in a sonic adventure, provided by Mac Miller and his producers.

The two-day listening experience is free of charge and will be open to any and all fans on a first-come, first-serve basis on Jan. 17 and Jan. 18, in Los Angeles, New York City, and Miller’s hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While the album is already officially released, phones are reportedly not permitted in the venue.

Read more at billboard.com

The BMW Group at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 in Las Vegas

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At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 – taking place in Las Vegas on 7 – 10 January 2020 – the BMW Group will be presenting its visionary approaches to creating the mobility experience of the future. The premium carmaker’s presence at CES 2020 can be summed up by the hashtag #ChangeYourPerception. At its heart is the company’s firm conviction that a change in perspective is essential in order to not only understand the requirements of future mobility but also address them. The BMW Group stand at this year’s CES showcases this new angle of thought, while close-up experiences and practical demonstrations anchor it in reality for the show’s visitors from all over the world.

One of the highlights of CES 2020 is the BMW i Interaction EASE at the BMW Group stand, which offers a glimpse into a future where autonomous driving has become commonplace. The concept car has deliberately been given an abstract exterior appearance in order to focus attention purely on the interior. Not only is the cabin meant to give passengers the feeling of having already arrived at their destination while still en route, it also underscores the potential of intuitive, almost human-like interaction between passenger and vehicle.

The headline feature here is the innovative gaze detection system in the BMW i Interaction EASE. The vehicle’s artificial intelligence detects when a passenger fixes their gaze on an object outside the car and offers them relevant information on it or other ways to interact with it. A second highlight of the CES reveals how close the BMW Group is to turning such visions of the future into reality. Three BMW X7 models have been fitted with the luxurious ZeroG Lounger, which will be ready for series production vehicles in just a few years in a similar form.

The ZeroG Lounger presents a brand new way of relaxing while out on the road. The occupant can tilt the seat back by up to 60 degrees while still being able to enjoy the usual creature comforts and without any compromises in terms of safety or protection in an accident.

The third highlight on display at the show is the BMW i3 Urban Suite, which is designed to offer a mobility experience tailored precisely to the passenger’s needs. To this end, series production BMW i3 cars underwent a complete transformation – with only the driver’s seat and the dashboard left untouched – to recreate the ambience of a boutique hotel, while paying particular attention to sustainability. 20 examples of the BMW i3 Urban Suite, which can be summoned using an app, are in action on the streets of Las Vegas. The interior of the car welcomes passengers with a laid-back ambience. This is partly down to the lounge chairs, which offer generous legroom and feature a special Sound Zone allowing passengers to shut out all noise from the outside world.

This trio of standout exhibits re-affirms the BMW Group’s commitment to employing technologies in a way that delivers tangible benefits for customers. 5G technology also features very prominently in the carmaker’s line-up for this year’s CES. The BMW iNEXT due to be launched in 2021 will come with 5G capability, which will likely make the BMW Group the world’s first premium carmaker to offer the new mobile standard in a production model. BMW’s outdoor area at the event will host a live demonstration – starring a BMW i3 and a smartphone – that shows how 5G can take road safety to the next level.

Past editions of the Consumer Electronics Show have seen the BMW Group unveiling a number of key technologies (and their potential applications), which have subsequently been readied for series production and incorporated into the company’s product portfolio. For instance, the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant presented in Las Vegas last year made its debut in a BMW model barely six months later.

Similarly, just a few months after being revealed to the public at CES 2016, the BMW Connected digital mobility assistant was featured in the BMW model range and on customers’ mobile devices. And BMW’s revolutionary Remote 3D View tech likewise celebrated its premiere in Las Vegas shortly before market launch.

The BMW i Interaction EASE.

Autonomous mobility is once again a key theme at this year’s edition of the CES. The BMW Group partnered Designworks together with their Research and Development department to create the BMW i Interaction EASE; which addresses the topic from a totally fresh perspective, while highlighting the premium carmaker’s culture of innovation. The BMW stand will offer a glimpse into a future where autonomous travel has long since become part of everyday life. The BMW i Interaction EASE has deliberately been given an sheer, abstract appearance on the exterior, contrasted with a rich, immersive interior to create a luxurious mobility experience. The high-quality materials, the cabin’s tailored geometry, and the cutting-edge technology are geared squarely to the passenger and their requirements. Particular emphasis has been placed on natural interaction with an intelligent autonomous vehicle making the most engaging use of time spent travelling.

“The BMW i Interaction EASE demonstrates what mobility might feel like in the future once autonomous driving becomes commonplace: luxurious, human, and intuitive” explains Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “Passengers start their journey with the feeling of having already arrived.” 

Consequently, interaction with the vehicle is made as simple, as intuitive, and above all, as human as possible. To put this theory into practice, the BMW i Interaction EASE offers an intelligent combination of different operating modes. This elevates forms of interaction already familiar from the current BMW model range – i.e. using touch control, gesture control and natural speech to converse with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant.

In addition, the BMW i Interaction EASE treads entirely new ground; with its artificial intelligence (AI) capable of following and interpreting the driver’s gaze. This fusion of ultra-advanced technologies with breathtaking design creates an emotional bond between person and machine.

Natural interaction enters the next stage of development.

The BMW Group is therefore taking the interaction between human and machine to the next level with the BMW i Interaction EASE; using a genuinely multimodal concept to successfully create an all-new interactive experience designed to be as simple and natural as possible and seem almost human in nature. Alongside verbal engagement with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant and a new type of gesture control, the gaze detection system has taken a leading role in enabling new ways of responding to the passenger’s needs. Rather than users needing to first learn specific commands in different modes, the vehicle’s AI processes the acoustic and visual information received from a variety of sensors and interprets it according to the driving situation, time, location, and vehicle signals.

The AI uses gaze sensing for browsing the space around the user and vehicle, while pointing can be used to register a selection for more information.  This form of interaction draws on the way people talk to one another; i.e. each person’s gaze identifies who or what is the subject of the conversation or makes the meaning of what is being said clear. A spoken or gesture command can then be given to initiate interaction with the target object. In this way, it is possible to obtain information on the context within the passengers’ frame of view as their gaze falls on e.g. a restaurant or cinema.

The Panorama Head-Up Display spanning the entire width of the front-end windscreen has a key role to play in this regard. By imposing a second, digital layer of information over the real-world view, it acts as­ an immersive augmented-reality user interface. It can show additional information on the windscreen that is tailored to the situation at hand and the vehicle’s surroundings. Thanks to 5G connectivity the vehicle knows exactly where it is and can offer the user information on the surrounding buildings, businesses and other objects as and when required.

First features to premiere in the BMW iNEXT.

BMW Natural Interaction paves the way to the next level of control inside the vehicle and beyond. The first features of the BMW i Interaction EASE will become reality in the market in the BMW iNEXT.

An interior headlined by flawless intuition.

The interior user experience for BMW i Interaction EASE starts on the way to the vehicle. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant recognises passengers as they approach, greeting them with a welcome illumination and directing them to the two seats inside with the use of dynamic lighting. The leather-free interior becomes a premium living space, reinforcing the feeling of having already arrived at a destination. Not only do the soft, welcoming seats with three-dimensional knitted surface ensure a high standard of comfort, they also come to life on contact thanks to embedded smart materials. The cabin is bordered at the sides by glass surfaces whose smart-glass functionality allows them to either be transparent or conceal the seating area from the outside world and so ensure the passengers’ privacy.

The focal point of the BMW i Interaction EASE interior is the large Panorama Head-Up Display positioned directly in front of the seating area. There is a choice of three experience modes – Explore, Entertain and Ease – which alter the interior, integrate information on the vehicle’s surroundings and provide in-car entertainment, privacy, or relaxation respectively.

In Explore mode, the focus shifts to the area around the vehicle. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant uses AR technology to superimpose information of interest to the passengers on the display so it appears both in their line-of-sight and in the correct position for their view of the real world.

Additional information or options for interaction with both the vehicle’s immediate and more distant surroundings can be accessed as the user desires. Focussing their gaze on the superimposed information brings up further details on the display, and a confirmatory gesture takes the user to the next interaction level.

Entertain mode brings the in-car experience to the fore. The surfaces at the sides are darkened to obscure the world beyond and the Panorama Head-Up Display can be used for watching movies, for example. The theatre-like ambient lighting extends light and colour throughout the interior enriching the content shown on the display; inviting passengers to immerse themselves fully in the entertainment experience.

When Ease mode is activated, the vehicle transforms into a place of calm and relaxation. Touching the intelligent material moves the seat into the “zero-gravity” position, in which the occupant feels as if they are almost floating. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant darkens the Panorama Head-Up Display and makes the surfaces at the sides opaque. At the same time, ambient lighting bathes the interior in a soothing glow, while a harmonious composition of pleasant sounds spreads through the cabin.

With the sound of the BMW Vision M NEXT, Hans Zimmer and BMW Sound Designer Renzo Vitale have outlined the sound of the future for the BOOST moment. For the BMW i Interaction EASE, the challenge was to use sound to turn the EASE moment into an authentic and emotional experience. “The sound subtly accompanies the interaction between passenger and vehicle and supports the unique BMW experience” says Renzo Vitale. The sound of the BMW i Interaction Ease thus also demonstrates the breadth of the partnership with Hans Zimmer, who, as composer and curator, is driving the development of BMW IconicSoundsElectric.

The partnership of Hans Zimmer and BMW began in 2017 with the inaugural #RoadtoCoachella campaign, and has continued to blossom into a long term relationship as Zimmer began to compose sounds for the mobility group. Mirrored Media is proud to be a

Read the full press release HERE.