Somebody please tell BMW to build this thing!

BMW’s Designworks division is showcasing its latest project at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. Developed together with outdoor clothing company The North Face, the concept is called the Futurelight Camper, and it’s essentially a futuristic camping tent that traces its roots to the BMW GINA Light Visionary Model Concept that the German automaker unveiled in 2008. If anything, the Futurelight Camper Concept proves that just because camping doesn’t necessarily extend to being a high-tech affair, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it in the comfort of a camping tent that comes with a geodesic-dome frame made from carbon fiber and a high-tech fabric that comes from a process called Nanospinning technology. Unfortunately, it looks like the Futurelight Camper Concept is going to remain a concept for the time being.

2019 BMW Camperlight Concept

BMW's New Futurelight Camper Concept Represents the Future of Outdoor Adventure
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Somewhere between getting awed at the concept and wondering whether it could hit production, it struck me how there aren’t that many high-tech camp tents around. It would seem like the perfect space for technology to flourish, especially in a time where materials like carbon fiber have become prevalent in so many sectors of consumerism.

The BMW Futurelight Camper Concept hopes to address that, or at least I hope it addresses it. BMW Designworks has always come up aces with its creations, and even if this isn’t the most audacious concept it’s done, it speaks to the kind of talent and ingenuity these people have.

The Futurelight Camper is, for all intents and purposes, a mobile camp house that’s propped up on a carbon fiber frame with two enormous wheels on each side.

The concept’s layout suggests that it could be towed by a car or an SUV — perhaps something like the BMW X5 or X6? — and then set up to serve as an outdoors living area. It’s like a high-tech tent on wheels that features materials that have never been used in this space before.

BMW's New Futurelight Camper Concept Represents the Future of Outdoor Adventure
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This is where The North Face comes in. See, the outdoor clothing company has a material called Futurelight fabric that’s created using Nanospinning technology. Without sounding like someone spitting out corporate jargon, the process of nanospinning involves creating Nano-sized holes in fabric. These holes are so small that you probably won’t even see them with a magnifying glass. But these holes, at least according to The North Face, creates unrivaled porosity while still maintaining complete waterproof qualities. In other words, air can move through the material but water can’t. Pretty cool, right?

The exterior of the Futurelight Camper Concept is wrapped in this high-tech material.

Sure, there’s a geodesic-dome frame that’s responsible for the physical makeup of the concept, but that frame is wrapped in The North Face’s patented material, stretched out to cover the entire frame.

Step inside the concept, and you’ll be greeted by a well-appointed living quarter that includes a bench bed that stretches the length of the frame and a small desk on the opposite corner. A pair of triangular windows are located on the rear section of the concept, just above the two massive set of snow tires. It’s unclear what kind of material was used on the floor of the Futurelight Camper, but it looks like there’s enough space to accommodate a roll-up insulated cot. All told, the concept has enough space for at least two people, though more people could fit in there if need be.

BMW's New Futurelight Camper Concept Represents the Future of Outdoor Adventure
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It’s unclear if BMW — or The North Face, for that matter — has any plans of actually putting the Futurelight Camper into production. It’s not like the concept needs a material that hasn’t been invented yet. The North Face has said that it plans to use the material on its products in time for its Fall 2019 line. Granted, I understand the difference between using it on shirts and jackets as opposed to campers; I think there’s a future where we can see the Futurelight Camper become a real thing. When that future is going to be is the big question. For now, though, the BMW Futurelight Camper Concept takes its rightful place at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. Here’s to hoping that it eventually finds its way into actual campsites in the near future.

Further reading

2008 BMW GINA Light Visionary Model
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Read our full review on the 2008 BMW GINA Light Visionary Model.

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Kirby Garlitos
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Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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In Las Vegas today, BMW Group subsidiary Designworks unveiled a new camper concept and virtual reality experience, in partnership with The North Face, to imagine the future of protection from the elements.

The lightweight camper concept and virtual experience were designed by Designworks to showcase a new fabric innovation from The North Face called FUTURELIGHT™, which uses Nanospinning technology to create the world’s most advanced, breathable, waterproof material.

“We combined both physical and digital worlds to showcase this material, ensuring the holistic vision of the brand was clearly communicated, while giving people a real ‘hands-on’ experience,” said Laura Robin, Designworks LA Studio Director. “Thinking about extreme performance in new and unexpected ways from our experience of working across multiple industries, helped us to provide consumers with a unique and never before seen insight into the very heart of the material and its key attributes.”

The FUTURELIGHT camper was inspired by the 2008 BMW GINA Light Visionary Model concept car. Like the GINA Concept, the FUTURELIGHT™ Camper is made of a fabric outer shell, consisting of a flexible material stretched over an iconic geodesic dome to demonstrate the potential uses of FUTURELIGHT™ fabric beyond just apparel.

The revolutionary Nanospinning process used to create FUTURELIGHT™, has allowed the The North Face designers to add air permeability into the membrane of a fabric for the first time. The process creates nano-sized holes, allowing for incredible porosity while still maintaining total waterproofness, letting air move through the material and provide more venting than ever before.

The FUTURELIGHT™ Camper, is on display during the global consumer electronics tradeshow, by invite-only Jan. 7 – Jan. 11 in Las Vegas. FUTURELIGHT™ will first become available to consumers in The North Face Fall 2019 product line and will be featured across the brand’s pinnacle performance collections.

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