Japanese automaker Nissan has applied its self-healing paint technology to an iPhone case. The first-of-its-kind case is a tribute to the Juke crossover and was created with the help of the University of Tokyo and Advanced Softmaterials. As on Nissan’s cars, any small scratches or scrapes can fix themselves over time. Its iPhone case is made from ABS plastic to create a tight and rigid case, and it’s coated with Scratch Shield paint. The trick is that the paint never truly dries, but doesn’t feel wet to the touch or mark anything it touches. It came to Nissan’s attention that Apple iPhone’s gloss case is very prone to scratches through everyday use. So they thought why not use our self-healing technology to help iPhone 4 users.
Nissan Scratch Shield iPhone case features Nissan’s self-healing paint finish technology. This is a technology from the automobile world to make scratch-resistant paint finish. It actually allows fine scratches to quickly mend themselves. Developed by Nissan in collaboration with University of Tokyo and Advanced Softmaterials Inc, the unique paint finish was initially designed for automotive use, but is now being trialed for the first time on a non-automotive product in Europe, with the Nissan Scratch Shield iPhone case.
The outer ‘paint’ is made from polyrotaxane, the chemical structure of the paint enables it to react to small chips and fill in the gaps. The polyrotaxane-based paint, dubbed Scratch Shield by the automaker, will fill in a minor scratch in about an hour, with larger nicks taking as much as one week to repair themselves. The paint is the same that is featured on numerous Nissan and Infiniti automobiles throughout the world.
In addition to being able to repair small scratches, the Scratch Shield Paint is more scratch-resistant than conventional paint and provides a better grip to keep the phone from slipping out of your hands in the first place. Under the outer paintlayer, Nissan says it has also borrowed other automotive engineering technologies in developing the Nissan Scratch Shield iPhone case. This includes the use of ABS plastic, a high grade material widely used in the automotive industry that the company says enables a more rigid, robust and tighter-fitting case.
Scratch Shield paint developed by Nissan can repair small scratches on a surface in a few hours. It’s currently used on the Nissan Murano, 370Z, and X-Trail, but the auto manufacturer has found a much larger market for its smart paint in iPhones. Nissan is testing its Scratch Shield iPhone case with beta customers and some journalists, although this automotive writer was left out of the loop. The case is currently being tested in Europe by the press and if there is strong demand, the company will begin selling cases later this year, although we’d suspect that it’ll be for the iPhone 5 by then. Nissan and Apple have been working closely together for a deep integration of iPhone capability with the full-electric Nissan LEAF – so much so that Apple used a LEAF in an iPhone 4S commercial.