Prone to dropping your iPhone? What if there were a way for unsightly scratches to disappear, on their own? That's the promise of a new type of phone case designed by car manufacturer Nissan for klutzy smartphone addicts. Here's what you need to know:
What is it?
Nissan calls its new product the Scratch Shield iPhone case. It's made with a special type of self-healing paint that fills in dings and scratches shortly after they appear, no touch-up required. "This technology isn't new," says Tyler Lee at Ubergizmo. "In fact for those who are really into cars, they might be able to recognize that this technology has been in use by Nissan on several Nissan and Infiniti car models."
It heals itself? How?
It uses a tactile, gel-like surface made of a chemical compound called polyrotaxane, which responds to small disturbances. When the case, say, "acquires a small scratch, its chemical structure reacts and changes back to its original shape, effectively filling the gap the scratch made," says Jamie Condliffe at Gizmodo. "In other words, it heals."
How long does it take for a scratch to disappear?
About an hour for a small scratch, though "the chemical reaction will continue to work its magic on more major damage for up to a week," says the International Business Times. Though there's no word on pricing (yet), the case is expected to go into production later this year after a trial run.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- 10 things you need to know today: December 21, 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How I lost all my money
- How Wall Street is chipping away at reform
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- A brief history of the Christmas present
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- Pope Francis' American problem
Subscribe to the Week