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Nissan Scratch Shield is a self-healing iPhone case

When you've forked out 500 notes on your iPhone, you want to keep that baby looking pristine -- so Nissan's invented a self-healing case.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm
2 min read
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When you've forked out 500 notes on your iPhone, you want to keep that baby looking pristine -- so Nissan has invented an iPhone case that heals itself.

The Nissan Scratch Shield iPhone case is made from the self-healing Scratch Shield paint found on Nissan's latest cars. In as little as an hour after suffering a scratch or scrape, your iPhone case looks as good as new.

Pay attention: here comes the science. The Scratch Shield case sports a gel-like polyrotaxane coating over an ABS plastic case. On its own, the ABS plastic is claimed to be more rigid and robust than normal plastic. But the real magic is that the gel's chemical structure reacts to damage by returning to its original shape -- in other words, it grows back into scratches and heals damage.

As a bonus, it's easier to hold onto than regular glossy paint, avoiding falls resulting from grip failure.

Scratch Shield paint was first developed in 2005 is found on the Nissan Murano, 370Z and X-Trail, and on Nissan's luxury Infiniti jalopies. Nissan has joined forces with the University of Tokyo and case company Advanced Softmaterials to create the case, which is currently in the prototype stages.

A batch of prototypes are being tested right now, and Nissan has licensed the healing phone case to Japanese phone network NTT DoCoMo -- king of bonkers weirdophones -- for its Style Series N-03B phones.

So the Scratch Shield shrugs off a spell in a pocket with your keys and laughs in the face of cats playing the iPad Game for Cats -- but to survive dropping your phone in a drink, toilet or oxbow lake you need a waterproof blower like the Motorola Defy+ JCB edition. But can even that survive a fall from orbit?

We reckon you lot need this, judging by the response to our report on accidents caused by mobile phone distractions

. Would your phone benefit from a self-healing case? What's the worst thing you've ever done to a gadget? Tell us in the comments or on our Facebook page.