The Snugg Examines Nissan’s use of Self-Healing Materials in Latest iPhone Case
This case utilises a self-healing paint coating that is a feature of more recent cars throughout the globe. This interesting foray into the world of phone accessories might be something of a marketing stunt on Nissan’s part.
Nissan, the well-known car manufacturer has just released their new ‘Scratch Shield’ case for the iPhone. This case utilises their self-healing paint coating which is featured on their existing Nissan and Infiniti cars throughout the world.
This interesting foray into the world of phone accessories might be something of a marketing stunt according to the Managing Director of The Snugg, Mr Richard Mercer:
“iPhone cases are made to sustain the brunt of any cosmetic and structural damage incurred through normal use and accidents, but a scuffed case is not particularly attractive. If you take the case to work with you, you don’t want to appear scruffy in front of your peers. This case looks to remedy this problem. What’s interesting though is the branding. It looks as though Nissan is using the case to ‘sell’ its unique paint features, so that consumers can experience its benefits in a way that really matters. Enabling them to see how this could be good for any car they choose to purchase in future, well any Nissan car anyway”
These materials are not new however. The coating itself was developed in 2005 by Nissan in parallel with the University of Tokyo and Advanced Softmaterials Inc and similar coatings have been developed by other research institutions. Other variations of self-healing materials exist, with some thought to be able to ‘heal’ bullet holes in planes and punctures in space suits. This case however, is only in Beta, with a limited number of cases being circulated among the press and existing Nissan customers. Nissan has also agreed a deal with NTT Docomo in Japan for use of the coating in their future mobile devices
“What will be interesting is how this technology penetrates the accessory market in Europe. We could find smartphone and tablet manufacturers using the self-healing finish in production, or we may find that they’ll leave that to the case makers. What will also be interesting, is to see if more than one version of the technology becomes available, otherwise all willing case manufacturers will need to agree a deal with Nissan which can lead to something of a monopoly on Nissan’s part if no contenders make a similar alternative available” states Mr Mercer.
Many accessory makers have produced protective cases for smartphones and tablets; The Snugg is currently a best-seller of the Kindle Fire Case and other iPad 2 Cases across the globe. At present however, many case finishes rely on grease resistant coatings on soft finishes, whilst hard-wearing cases rely on a tough plastic outer shell in conjunction with an impact absorbing, soft inner lining. None of these bolster self-healing of cosmetic damage.
The self-healing coating represents a structure of atoms. Light scratches move these and damage the structure. This new coating, over time, has properties that allow these atoms to flow back together to ‘fill the spaces’ effectively healing the damage. It is unlikely however that this would work for deeper cuts or gouges where material is actually lost; although it may soften the appearance of the damage around the area of impact.
“If this coating becomes available to 3rd party manufacturers in Europe, I’m sure that we could adapt it to provide our consumers with greater protection and lasting case finishes; although it seems a year or two away at present” adds Mr Mercer.
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The Snugg has been offering its customers the opportunity to safeguard their technological assets with stylish, quality cases since their formation in 2010. Based in Bolton, the company operates internationally across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China and the US, becoming a best-seller in five territories.
For further information contact:
- Contact Information
- Richard Mercer
- Managing Director
- The Snugg
- (44) (0) 1204 544 967
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