LEDs turn car into interactive digital display

Luxury automaker Lexus has unveiled a custom version of its 2017 IS car wrapped in nearly 42,000 programmable light-emitting diodes (LEDs), turning it into a mobile, interactive screen capable of displaying dynamic graphics.

The LED strips, which were applied to the car by hand, produce 175,000 lumens when fully illuminated and would stretch 0.8 km (0.5 mi) in length if placed end-to-end. There are three distinct modes in which they can respond to stimuli (see video link above). In ‘Attract’ mode, a loop of colourful graphics highlights the car’s curves and styling. In ‘Gesture’ mode, the motion of the LEDs’ animation is controlled by a user’s hand movements, with the help of a gaming console. And in ‘Music Viz’ mode, custom graphics are generated in synchronization with any music being played.

Indeed, with music in mind, Lexus unveiled the LED-covered car in singer/songwriter Dua Lipa’s video for ‘Be the One’ (see video link below), in a special collaboration with online video hosting service Vevo. The vehicle is featured as a visual anchor in a storyline that casts actor Ansel Elgort as Lipa’s former love.

“A music video was the perfect place to launch the ‘LIT IS,’” says Brian Bolain, general manager (GM) of product and consumer marketing for Lexus. “Working with Dua Lipa allowed the concept to come to life and put a spotlight on the Lexus IS in an entirely new way.”

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