Nissan recently revealed the Scratch Shield iPhone, the brand’s latest iPhone kit. The kit is actually a self-healing iPhone case which utilizes the brand’s very own self-healing paint finish. This particular paint technology is the first of its kind and while first developed in 2005, it had already been used on different Infiniti and Nissan models. By being applied to an iPhone case, this pioneering technology will mark the first time that it’s used on a smartphone, a product that is bound to experience a number of scratches due to daily use.
Thus, iPhone users are more than guaranteed that their phone will look its best for a longer period of time. In order to design the Scratch Shield iPhone, Nissan made use of different advances related to automotive engineering. The result is a paint coat that is long-lasting and durable as well as a case that is tight and can fit closely an iPhone.
This Scratch Shield was developed by the brand working in partnership with Advanced Softmaterials Inc., and the University of Tokyo. The paint finish, as mentioned previously, was created to be used for automobiles and aside from a number of Infiniti models, was made available for the Nissan X-Trail, Nissan 370Z, and Nissan Murano.
Because of the innovative method that the brand implemented, this made it possible to apply the technology on a product that is not related to the auto industry. Specifically, this is the Scratch Shield iPhone case which is to be released in Europe. The first batch of these cases has already been manufactured and made to undergo BETA testing composed of selected customers and journalists.
Nissan however says that if there is a strong demand for it, it may be possible that the cases will be put on sale on the later part of this year. The Scratch Shield iPhone case brings with it three important advantages. The first is that rather than a glossy surface, the case has a tactile gel-like quality giving it improved grip and compared to standard paint, is more scratch-resistant.
Its second advantage is that because of the elastic and highly flexible quality of the paint, fine scratches are able to repair themselves faster. The third benefit is that since the case is actually composed of ABS plastic, the case is more robust and rigid unlike other plastics. ABS plastic is a substance that has a high grade and is generally utilized in the auto industry.
Meanwhile the outer paint on the case is composed of polyrotaxane. What this chemical structure does is when the coating experiences a fine scratch, it then reacts immediately and reverts back to the original shape by filling in the gap, thereby “healing” the damage. According to Bob Laishley, who is Nissan’s Overseas Programme Director Business Development for Europe, the brand has always been proud of thinking laterally and what the brand does is to look at the various advances made in the automotive industry and find a way to apply and improve daily use.
The Scratch Shield iPhone, he added, is a good example of a technology from the brand has long been a boon to customers and then applied it to an everyday product. In order to mark the release of the Scratch Shield iPhone case, Nissan has partnered with the Ministry of Sound. A pre-party will be hosted for Nissan and will have internationally celebrated DJ Pete Tong.
On this same event, Nissan will also be releasing the first 100 units of the prototypes. This is not the first time Nissan has done this as it has already been licensing different technologies to be used for in non-automotive applications going as far back as 2004. An example of this is the Miniature Thermal Imaging Sensor. When it was first designed, the goal was to ensure that nighttime driving is safe.
What this technology does is to detect if any people are present in areas that are not lit by the headlights. This technology resulted in a device that allowed heat generation to be monitored or even use infrared sensors to gather temperature readings. The brand reveals that research and development is ongoing in order to come up with technologies that can not only help different industries but have non-automotive applications as well.
When it comes to developments in the auto industry, Nissan has long been considered as one of the innovators. For example, when Nissan released its first Crossover with the Murano, it started a new period in motoring. This was followed by the Qashqai, which was a success as well. After that it was the Juke which was a vehicle having the style of a sports car and combined with a compact SUV.
Since then, the various crossovers that Nissan has released only became stronger with the Qashqai managing to sell at least 250,000 units in Europe alone last year. Meanwhile the Juke has now reached sales of 120,000 units.
Both the Qashqai and Juke are manufactured at the brand’s facility located in the U.K. With these two models, the UK factory has managed to reach an all-time production record in 2011 of 480,000 units. At present, Nissan is coming out with the Juke-R. This version has the engine, drive train, and transmission of a GT-R and then combined it with a Juke. This is presently being tested in Dubai’s tests.