Print 24 comment(s) - last by Natch.. on Jan 18 at 8:23 AM

Nissan has already released prototypes to journalists and certain customers for testing. It will look to put the cases on sale in late 2012 if all goes well

Nissan has announced a new self-healing case for the iPhone that utilizes technology typically used in the automotive industry.

Nissan collaborated with the University of Tokyo and Advanced Softmaterials Inc. to create the Nissan Scratch Shield iPhone case, which does exactly what the name suggests -- self-repairs scratches and similar cosmetic flaws that most of us tend to place upon our smartphones either through dropping them, running them into other objects, etc.

Nissan and its collaborators made the case out of ABS plastic, which is stronger than most plastics and is widely used in the auto industry. The case is coated in Scratch Shield paint technology, which is made from polyrotaxane. This coating has a chemical structure that is capable of reacting to a fine scratch by changing the shape back to its original form and filling in the gap. These elastic properties help scratches and blemishes heal themselves. In addition, the surface is more gel-like than glossy, meaning the case is more scratch-resistant than most.

"We like to think laterally by taking the great innovations we've got from the automotive point of view, and looking at how they could be applied to improve everyday issues," said Bob Laishley, Overseas Programme Director Business Development for Nissan in Europe. "The Scratch Shield iPhone case is a great example of us taking a Nissan automotive technology that has had a huge impact for our customers, and then shifting the boundaries to apply it to another everyday product.

"We're really excited about the possibilities provided by this technology. In Japan, we've already linked up with world-leading mobile operator NTT DoCoMo to allow them to use the Scratch Shield technology on its Style Series N-03B mobile phones, and we think this technology has real scope beyond the automotive world. We're passionate about innovations that get people excited, and that means not being restricted to one industry or genre."

Nissan has already released prototypes to journalists and certain customers for testing. It will look to put the cases on sale in late 2012 if all goes well.

Source: Nissan

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IPhone strikes again!
By bigkah624 on 1/16/2012 5:37:58 PM , Rating: 3
My first thought was, why are they only making a case for iphones? What about android? But as I thought that I immediately knew the answer, and it was more than about the millions of iphones already sold. The thing is, each generation looks exactly the same while android phones come in all shapes and sizes. Why bother with android and have to make different sizes of cases (which might not sell) when they won't have to with the extremely popular iPhone? Another win for Apple while my search for the perfect Android phone continues...I hope maybe they'll look to release cases for the other platforms. The case seems pretty cool.

RE: IPhone strikes again!
By TakinYourPoints on 1/17/2012 6:25:41 AM , Rating: 3
Standardized hardware, it's why Valve makes accessories for the iPhone and iPad and not for Android devices (that and Gabe is a huge iPad fanboy):

RE: IPhone strikes again!
By retrospooty on 1/17/2012 7:01:57 AM , Rating: 2
So that's great for case makers, but not great for Apple.

There are no removable battery options, no large screen options, no qwerty options, no smaller options.

The iPhone is a good platform and there is plenty room in the market for 2. Apple should realy branch out and make more models.

RE: IPhone strikes again!
By Natch on 1/18/2012 8:23:58 AM , Rating: 2
So will this help out those iphone owners who "hold it wrong", and drop it? ;)

funny nissan engineers
By ZaethDekar on 1/16/2012 5:43:51 PM , Rating: 2
Why could I just picture someone with the paint just testing it on a case he already had and then showing it to managment and saying how awesome it is.

Wax the case ?
By rameshms on 1/17/2012 2:43:03 PM , Rating: 2
Looking forward to wax the case restoring the gloss :)

IPhone strikes again
By bigkah624 on 1/16/12, Rating: -1
RE: IPhone strikes again
By MGSsancho on 1/16/2012 5:43:34 PM , Rating: 4
Maybe the iPhone was mentioned due to free press it would receive when in reality Nissan will gladly sell more widgets to any and all buyers.

RE: IPhone strikes again
By GuinnessKMF on 1/16/2012 6:15:26 PM , Rating: 2
It's also a market that's extremely susceptible to overpaying. Like sancho said, they'll likely make all the widgets worth making, but they can get the best margins from iPhone users (both in bulk and overpricing).

RE: IPhone strikes again
By tayb on 1/16/2012 8:23:14 PM , Rating: 2
The iPhone is $200. Every single Android phone worth owning is at least $200.

RE: IPhone strikes again
By GuinnessKMF on 1/16/2012 9:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
And every single iPhone worth owning costs .... oh.

The fact remains that for the same hardware you can pay less for an android phone, your subjective metric of "worth owning" is exactly why the iPhone succeeds in gouging its customers, most users of the iPhone do not need all of that hardware, a simple feature phone would work just fine, that is unless they want to show of their new gadget, which is exactly what a fancy protective case is good at doing.

I can promise you that most people to get this "self healing" case are just eager to show it off to their peers at the water cooler; to show how on the edge they are.

RE: IPhone strikes again
By tayb on 1/16/2012 9:34:23 PM , Rating: 2
Well, since you promised, I believe you.

The hardware inside the iPhone is fine. It's not underpowered and still has one of the better screens out there. And despite the supposed "superior" hardware Android devices still feel sluggish compared to the iPhone. I own a Droid X by the way.

Your Android fanboyism aside you still have not validated your original point that the iPhone is overpriced.

RE: IPhone strikes again
By someguy123 on 1/16/2012 11:29:28 PM , Rating: 3
you could've made a case with the last version, but the 4s is far from overpriced. its got the A5 in there. there are better things available now, but not during the launch.

fanboyism works both ways. google isn't an inherently "friendlier" company simply because they mask the costs via datamining. facebook does the same yet they get flak all the time.

RE: IPhone strikes again
By GuinnessKMF on 1/17/2012 12:04:01 AM , Rating: 2
I actually really don't like Google, as a company they're not much better than apple in my eyes (I'm not calling MS saints), but I prefer my corporations to be honest with me, they're out there to make a buck.

I agree the 4s is pretty solid, but what I mean is that the majority of users do not need a phone that powerful. They're not leveraging the power of these phones. Unless you consider words with friends to be a proper usage of the power high end phones have.

This is true of a lot of android users too, but the single form factor, ubiquity, name recognition, and apple fans propensity for wanting to show off all add up to a very good platform for Nissan to target initially.

RE: IPhone strikes again
By testerguy on 1/17/2012 3:08:16 AM , Rating: 1
there are better things available now

Such as?

No phone which has been released since even comes close to the GPU power of the iPhone 4S, or the collective power of the CPU & GPU. The Droid Razr and Nexus have marginally faster CPU's (~10%) but both have GPU's which are up to 300% slower. iOS is hardware accelerated too so this difference in particularly meaningful. The CPU variance only really rears its head in benchmarks comparing javascript performance.

RE: IPhone strikes again
By testerguy on 1/17/2012 3:30:08 AM , Rating: 1
Significantly for me they also have worse battery life in most use-cases.

RE: IPhone strikes again
By xti on 1/17/2012 10:21:05 AM , Rating: 2
$200 is dirt cheap for any brand phone...its a mini computer in your hands not a cricket phone from walmart.

RE: IPhone strikes again
By sprockkets on 1/16/2012 6:26:12 PM , Rating: 2
I can buy a replacement case for my HTC phone anytime I want. An iphone user can't, ever.

Mine is made of metal and plastic - the iphone is either plastic or glass.

Nissan looks at both and sees where the need is.

RE: IPhone strikes again
By fcx56 on 1/17/2012 3:47:19 AM , Rating: 2
Not that I this debate really has me worked up either way, but we all know that's simply not true.
Rated difficulty: easy

Fit any replacement back you can find, in whatever color you like. And don't make the it's not OEM argument, it simply doesn't matter. Don't tell us you would pay 3x or whatever the markup is to buy your replacement from HTC over a generic cover, that's just picking nits.

RE: IPhone strikes again
By sprockkets on 1/17/2012 9:55:51 AM , Rating: 2
I can take the body off my phone with my thumb. Needing to buy a special screwdriver is not what I would call easy, but OK, it isn't like it is impossible either.

I'd take the OEM cover because it simply is made very well.

RE: IPhone strikes again
By FaaR on 1/17/2012 7:37:28 PM , Rating: 1
If you pick one phone over another because it's got a case you can remove with your thumbs then you got screwed-up priorities man...

No cell phone I've ever owned (~7) has had a case that was entirely removable by the user, particularly not any slider phone. Most had rear covers that could be removed (one or two had the rear integrated into the battery itself) and one or two earlier phones had replaceable faceplates while manufacturers still bothered to try and pawn those overpriced pieces of junk off on people.

No phone had the entire case replaceable though, if nothing else then the LCD cover, and typically also the side rim/frame was fixed.

So whatever point you're trying to make, it's bullshit. This isn't any concern a normal person places any weight on whatsoever.

RE: IPhone strikes again
By Reclaimer77 on 1/16/2012 6:50:51 PM , Rating: 3
My first thought was, why are they only making a case for iphones?

Because it's by far the most weakest and fragile smart phone out there. That's a fact. You wouldn't NEED something like this for an Android phone because nobody else but Apple would be stupid enough to put a glass back on a phone for no reason.

RE: IPhone strikes again
By FaaR on 1/17/2012 7:39:25 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, Apple's so stupid. They're selling a gazillion of these things a month, if that's not a sign of stupidity then I don't know what is! ;)

RE: IPhone strikes again
By bigkah624 on 1/17/2012 10:38:53 AM , Rating: 1
I'm wondering why my comment got downrated. Just curious. I wasn't trying to start an Android vs Apple debate. The real fact is there are a ton more accessories made specifically for the iphone or with built-in iphone support. It's always bugged me but facts are facts. If I got downrated for pointing out the obvious, oh well.

And if it's my comment about still searching for the perfect Android, well I am. My N1 is super buggy now, even after factory reset. GPS takes forever to acquire a signal now, even with GPSstats. Power button doesnt work anymore. It freezes. Battery life blows. The Galaxy Nexus was going to be my replacement, but it turns out it's more expensive than the SII with less features. I'd get an SII before a GN. Its only real advantage is it's a pure Google phone. Too bad HTC is no longer in the running. At least, they FEEL solid...I've digressed.

I still think Nissan announced this case for iphone because it's popular, easy to make one size-fits-all and because iphone lovers will spend the $$$. Support for Android phones might come LATER.

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