22 February 2009

Shape-shifting electric car concept controlled by iPhone

Astonishing popularity of iPhone draws attention of not gadget lovers only. Even concept makers began to use Apple's smartphone for their interesting and futuristic designs. Due to its advanced connectivity and large multi-touch display, iPhone provides excellent remote control possibilities. Many iPhone users started to develop this side of their device: there already are iPhone controlled toys, robots... And now there is real car, controlled with help of an iPhone! It is only a concept for now, which will be revealed on Geneva Auto Show. More details follow.

Rinspeed Company, famous concept design maker, is planning to release an interesting mix of modern technologies in their concept car for Geneva Auto Show. Even its name, iChange, makes it somehow related to Apple products. However, it is special not only because it is controlled by iPhone. Rinspeed representatives claim that it is the first car in the world that can change its shape according to speed. Faster the speed - slimmer the car gets. It was done for achieving better aerodynamic characteristics, and for WOW factor, of course. It has no doors, passengers and driver can enter and exit this vehicle only when the roof is raised. iPhone is used to start and stop the engine, or to control some simple actions, like raising and lowering roof.

iChange, like majority of modern concepts, is driven by electricity, and has some interesting speed characteristics: it can speed up to 100 km/h in 4 seconds, with max speed of 220 km/h. Solar panels, placed on roof, can recharge internal batteries that are used for air cooling system. iChange use Li-Ion batteries as its primary power source, no word, however, about how they can be recharged. According to the modern tendencies, it is lightweight - overall weight is only 1043 kg.

Such concepts, while have no real life implementation, can display how out new technologies can be used. iPhone (or any other phone) integration and shape shifting - these are two main ideas that are developed by iChange. Will it change the way we use and control our cars? Will it bring new tendency of shape shifting to car market? Maybe it will, maybe not. In any case, it is worth watching.

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